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Ex-Billionaire Spars With Indian Media Amid Outcry Over Debt

  • As member of parliament, Mallya says he will comply with laws
  • Rubbishes media reports that portray him as an absconder
Vijay Mallya.

Vijay Mallya.

Photographer: Rafiq Maqbool/AP Photo
Updated on

Vijay Mallya, the former Indian billionaire and founder of the failed Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., denied fleeing the country and lashed back at what he called a media “witch-hunt” over $1.4 billion of debt he owes creditors.

The tycoon who presided over a beer and liquor empire a few years ago in the South Asian country is in the spotlight amid efforts by the government and regulators to pare stressed assets in the financial system from a 14-year high and recover dues. A group of 17 banks approached the Supreme Court earlier this month to bar Mallya from leaving the country, but were told on Wednesday in court that he had already left India on March 2.