State Bank of India has expressed its inability to divulge details of loans given to Vijay Mallya and his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines in response to an RTI query, holding that the matter is sub-judice and being looked into by investigation agencies.
Mumbai-based RTI activist Anil Galgali had asked SBI about the total amount of loans given to the beleaguered businessman and his airlines and also the minutes of the meeting in which the loan proposals were sanctioned.
"You have sought certain information pertaining to the loan facilities granted to M/s Kingfisher Airlines Ltd and Vijay Mallya. Please note that the matter is sub-judice and the matter is pending for the investigation before certain investigation authorities. Hence deriving exemption from disclosure under Section 8(1)(h) of RTI act, information sought by you cannot be provided," the bank's deputy general manager and public information officer (stressed assets management branch, Bengaluru) said in reply.
Beleaguered liquor baron Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines owe over Rs 9,000 crore, including interest, to a consortium of 17 lenders led by SBI. He has been facing investigation from various agencies like Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), the investigative agency for white collar crimes. Last month, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai had declared Mallya a proclaimed offender in a loan default case.
On June 11, ED had attached properties worth Rs 1,411 crore of Mallya and UB Ltd in connection with its money laundering probe in the IDBI Bank loan default case. Mallya flew to Britain on March 2 using his diplomatic passport which was later revoked.