Finally, lenders attach Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Villa in Goa

Vijay Mallya's Kngfishervilla in Goa. Photo:
Vijay Mallya’s Kngfishervilla in Goa. Photo:

Process of physical possession of Kingfisher Villa in Goa has begun in real earnest on 13 May. Liquor baron Vijay Mallya had pledged the villa to the bankers as collateral for Rs 7,800-crore loan.

The move comes within two days of North Goa Collector Neela Mohanan allowing the bankers’ application to seize the Rs 90-crore worth villa at Candolim in North Goa. Following this, SBI Caps Trustee Company on 13 May put up a notice on the villa, used to host many of Mallya’s parties.

The bankers said with several guards, some of them armed, it might not be a good idea to take over the property without the support of the police.

Representing the bankers’ consortium, SBI Caps had earlier sought physical possession of the property under Section 14 of the Sarfaesi Act in late 2014.

But three of Mallya’s firms, United Spirits, Kingfisher Airlines and United Breweries, objected. Last week, media reports had said Mallya appointed Govind Tiwari of the USL as a villa manager” or caretaker to thwart the banks’ attempt to seize it.

According to the banker, no one is allowed into the villa without Tiwari’s permission. The bankers will need police help to displace those guards and position our security personnel there, a banker said.

The banks’ repeated attempts to take possession of the villa were repeatedly stalled by USL, which claims the first right to buy the property as it is a tenant.

So far, the banks have recovered Rs 1,240 crore by selling shares and collaterals and Rs 1,200 crore is blocked in escrow accounts at Debt Recovery Tribunal, Bengaluru and the Karnataka High Court.