Business tycoon and chairman of UB group, Vijay Mallya on Sunday revealed that the time is not ‘right’ for him to return to India. 

In an E-mail interview to The Sunday Guardian, Mallya clarified that he does indeed want to return, but added a caveat by saying, “I do not feel the time is right.” 

He went on to add that “I’m not sure I’ll get a fair chance to present my side. I’ve already been branded as criminal. I feel passions are high.”

Mallya said he left India due to a “personal visit with a friend” while defending allegations that he was carrying ‘seven big pieces of luggage’ in a bid to flea the country. “For two people, I don’t think that’s too much. I pack heavy. That’s how I travel.” he said.

b’File photo of Vijay Mallya | PTI’

The liquor baron also appeared to shift the blame of the massive loan default to the banks.

Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, he said,

“There was a lookout notice issued against me last year. But I didn’’t ‘escape’. Why am I being portrayed as a criminal now? Loan defaults are a business matter. When the banks give out loans, they know the risk involved. They decide, we don’’t. Our own business was flourishing, but plummeted suddenly. Don’t make me the villain. I have the best intentions. I’’m quiet because I fear my words will be twisted like of others.” 

“I’ve not done anything wrong. I am being victimised… I’’m one of the most open people. I’’m forced to go into hiding and that makes me sick.” Mallya said this as his troubles mounted with a Hyderabad court issuing a non-bailable warrant(NBW) against the liquor baron after he failed to appear before it in a cheque dishonour case.

The court order in the case of alleged dishonour of a Rs 50 lakh cheque to GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd came even as Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said a probe will be launched to check whether there were any anomalies in the Provident Fund (PF) contributions made by Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines for its employees when it was functioning.

Mallya, 60, is facing multiple proceedings for allegedly defaulting on loans of over Rs 9,000 crore from various banks.

His departure from India on March 2 unhindered in the middle of the probes also triggered a political row. 

(With inputs from PTI)

(Feature image source: AFP)