New Delhi: Business tycoon Vijay Mallya has rejected reports that he was involved in money laundering and claimed that Indian authorities had no grounds to extradite him from Britain.
In an interview to Reuters, Mallya said, “I would not be leaving. I am safe in this country under UK laws, until proven otherwise. I would rather be safe than sorry because I certainly do not want to be at the mercy of some maverick in the government of India.”
“The government-owned banks are trying to hold me personally responsible for the failure of India’s largest airline and to repay their debts; I have a counter claim on them as well. That is in the judicial system right now. Recovery of loans made to a PLC is a purely civil matter. The central bureau of investigation, at the behest of the government, converted it into a criminal matter. And then charges of defrauding banks and money-laundering appeared,” he said.
The Formula One team Boss Mallya, who has a base in London as well as a country home bought from the father of triple world champion Lewis Hamilton, moved to Britain last March after banks sued to recover some $1.4 billion the Indian authorities say is owed by Kingfisher.
Mallya said he had become a "political football" between the two major Indian political parties as they campaigned in state elections.
"I will be and am severely contesting all this, legally. I firmly believe they have absolutely no case against me whatsoever. There is a requirement for legal and judicial determination here in the U.K., let them come with whatever evidence they have -- but I doubt if they have any evidence -- and then let the law take its own course," he added.