Businessman continues to say he did not flee and is ready to repay all the money
Vijay Mallya, once one of India's richest and flamboyant businessmen, has hit back at critics, asking them why Indian banks are not willing to take the money he's offering.
His tweet came after Chris Gayle, the West Indies action batsman, shared a photo with Vijay Mallya on Twitter yesterday. Gayle played in the IPL series when Mallya was owner of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Gayle posted, "I am happy to meet Big Boss Vijay Mallya." Mallya and Gayle are seen embracing each other in the photo taken at the Formula One car race in Silverstone, UK.
Within minutes of sharing the photo, many Indians trolled Mallya. Earlier, when Mallya came to see the match between India and Australia last month at the Oval Stadium during the cricket World Cup in London, he was greeted with boos and derision by the Indian crowd.
In response, Mallya posted a comment on Twitter saying he was delighted to have met his friend Chris Gayle. He asked his critics to ‘ask why your banks refuse to take the money I am willing to pay’. Then decide who the thief is, he said.
Mallya, who owned several companies including Kingfisher Airlines, was charged in a Rs 9,000 crore bank fraud case, which is pending in a special court in Mumbai.
[Autotranslated from the Tamil original]
However, Mallya fled to London in 2016 to avoid arrest in India. Under pressure from India, he was arrested by the London police and released on bail. The Indian government is taking legal action to bring him back to India, and a case for extradition is underway in a London court.
Mallya told the court that he should not be sent back to India because the prisons lacked even basic facilities. In response, the Arthur Road Prison in Mumbai was renovated to accommodate him. A decision on extradition is awaited.
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