Mumbai: After former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda today came out in support of liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
Defending Mallya in connection with a money laundering case, Gowda said, “He is a son of the soil, he is not running away from the country.”
Deve Gowda’s statement comes in the wake of a nationwide uproar over Mallya’s sudden disappearance. Mallya, the wilful defaulter, had taken loans amounting to around Rs 9000 crore for his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Deve Gowda further added that every airline is facing losses these days and a reputed businessman like Vijay Mallya is being targeted for no reason.
Before Deve Gowda, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah had also defended Mallya by saying that there was no need to arrest him.
“There is no need to arrest the business tycoon as he is a “gentleman” and would return to India on his own. Vijay Mallya will come home. I don’t think government needs to arrest him. He will come and answer. He is a gentleman”, Abdullah had said on Friday.
Earlier, the Supreme Court issued a notice to Vijay Mallya in connection with a plea seeking to restrain him from travelling abroad.
The apex court bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman issued notice as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that Mallya left the country soon after they moved applications on March 2 before Bengaluru-based Debt Recovery Tribunal to restrain Diageo from paying him $75 million.
The consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India had sought order restraining Mallya from leaving the country, his arrest and impounding of his passport.