New Delhi: Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya has hit out at Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for barring him from securities market with regard to alleged fund diversion from United Spirits and termed the charges “baseless”.
Mallya, in a series of tweets, called the allegations of fund diversion concerning now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines a “joke” and said he is getting used to “witch hunts coming from all directions with no legal basis whatsoever”. “CBI alleges diversion of funds OUT of Kingfisher Air. SEBI alleges diversion of funds from USL INTO Kingfisher Air. What joke is this?,” Mallya tweeted. He further said: “Allegations of fund diversion out of USL are baseless. USL accounts were approved by top Auditors, an eminent Board of Directors n (sic) shareholders.”
On Wednesday, Sebi had barred Mallya and six others from the securities market in a case related to alleged fund diversions from United Spirits, a company which the tycoon promoted before selling to Diageo. He had resigned as director and chairman of USL in March 2016.
“For 30 years I built the World’s largest Spirits Company n (sic) India’s largest Brewing Company. Also launched the finest Airline. This is what I get,” Mallya tweeted. He alleged that there is a witch-hunt against him by the government. “I am kind of getting used to these witch hunts coming from all directions with no legal basis whatsoever. Shows what Govt Machinery can do,” said Mallya in one of his tweets.
Claiming Kingfisher Airlines “was a great public utility service connecting India like never before” he said, “It was not my private toy.” Mallya, who is now staying in London, also scoffed at suggestions that he had fled the country in the wake of the investigations against him saying his departure was “nothing sudden. I have been a non resident since 1988”.