New Delhi: A day after denying to have given any email interview to a weekly newspaper, businessman Vijay Mallya said on Tuesday he has filed a complaint with the Mumbai Cyber Police station, alleging it was fabricated.
Mallya, who is amid a huge controversy after leaving from the country in the middle of a massive loan default probe, was quoted in the email interview to “Sunday Guardian” published on March 13, that the time was not “right” to return to the country.
On Sunday, a weekly newspaper had published an interview quoting Vijay Mallya. The paper stated that they interviewed him through his email firstname.lastname@example.org on March 12. There were four questions asked to Mallya pertaining to the current cases against him.
“I have not given any email or any other interview to anyone including the Sunday Guardian. The email account that has been attributed to me does not belong to me. Every comment, therefore, is fabricated,” the liquor baron said in a statement released to the media by e-mail through his PR agency.
“I have filed a complaint with the Cyber Police Station in Mumbai. The editor of the paper has also publicly admitted on Twitter that he would investigate the matter as this tantamounts to fraud and needs to be seriously investigated,” he said, adding that “In all fairness, all TV channels and newspapers who have quoted from the interview should publish a retraction.”
An officer at the Cyber Police station in Mumbai said that an “application” has been received from an official of a company owned by Mallya in connection with the interview, adding no offence has been registered yet though. He, however, did not give details.
A journalist from the Sunday Guardian newspaper had tweeted on Monday, “We stand by the Vijay Mallya interview in the @SundayGuardian”.
“Shocked to see media statements that I gave an interview to Sunday Guardian without verification. I have not given any statement to anyone,” Mallya had tweeted on Monday night from his official Twitter handle. He did not elaborate further on the contents of the said interview.
Under fire over dues totalling over Rs 9,000 crore of long-grounded Kingfisher Airlines in unpaid loans and interest, Mallya left the country on March 2, triggering a political row with Congress and BJP trading charges.
The Enforcement Directorate(ED) has summoned the liquor baron to appear before it in Mumbai on March 18 as part of its money laundering probe in the alleged default in payment of Rs 900 crore dues to IDBI bank by Kingfisher Airlines.
While it has been widely reported that he had left for London, Mallya himself has been silent about his whereabouts but has been tweeting occasionally including to say he was not an “absconder” and he would comply with the “law of the land”.
On March 13, the ‘The Sunday Guardian’ quoted him as having said in an e-mail interview, “I am an Indian to the core. Of course I want to return. But I am not sure I’ll get a fair chance to present my side. I’ve already been branded as criminal. I do not feel the time is right.”
(With PTI inputs)