Kolkata, May 29 (PTI) City-based United Bank of India (UBI) has filed a winding up petition against Vijay Mallya- promoted Kingfisher Airlines for failing to retire loans amounting to Rs 336 crore, an official of the bank said. "We have filed winding up petition against three Mumbai- based companies, out of which Kingfisher Airlines is one," the bank official told PTI. The other two companies were Spanco Limited (Rs 37 crore) and Arch Pharma (Rs 56 crore).
All the three winding up petitions have been filed in the Bombay High Court recently, the official said. He also said that the bank had identified Vijay Mallya as a willful defaulter, along with Bipin Vohra of SPS Group. "We have identified both Mallya and Vohra as wilful defaulters and are initiating steps in that direction," the official said. The bank would have to satisfy certain RBI norms before declaring someone a wilful defaulter. The State Bank of India had said earlier that it was also exploring ways to declare Mallya as a wilful defaulter. Once declared a wilful defaulter, the person would not be able to borrow in future and lose director-level positions in companies. Earlier, UBI had slapped winding up petition against REI Agro.
Last week, State Bank of India, which has an exposure of Rs 1,600 crore to grounded airline Kingfisher, said it is exploring ways to declare the carrier's promoter Vijay Mallya as a 'wilful defaulter'. "We are looking at various ways to declare Vijay Mallya a wilful defaulter and trying build a strong case in that regard," an SBI source had said. The source had said that as per RBI guidelines, it would have to be proven that the borrower had diverted funds which he taken from the bank and not paying up despite having the ability to pay. "If we are sure on these two points, then the bank will declare Mallya a wilful defaulter," the SBI source had said.
SBI leads a 17-member consortium of lenders that is trying to recover dues running into over Rs 7,500 crore in principal alone from Kingfisher Airlines. SBI has the maximum exposure of Rs 1,600 crore to the airline, which has been grounded since October 2012. The loan to Kingfisher Airlines had become bad, forcing the bank to go for provisioning of the loan amount. The bank had also got symbolic possession of Kingfisher Villa at Goa, valued at less than Rs 100 crore.