Banks may now take possession of “Kingfisher Villa” in Goa

MUMBAI/PANJIM: In a major setback to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, revenue officials in Goa allowed the lenders to Kingfisher Airlines to take physical possession of ‘Kingfisher Villa‘ in Candolim.

“The North Goa collector has given an order in favour of banks to take physical possession of the Kingfisher Villa,” banking sources said late this evening.

The Villa, valued at Rs 90 crore, used to be Mallya’s base in Goa and also the venue of many of the famous parties hosted by him during the ‘good times’.

Advocate Parag Rao, who appeared on behalf of United Spirits, told PTI that the company had withdrawn its claim before the collector yesterday. “We told the collector that we will not press for the objection,” he said.

Representing the bankers’ consortium, SBICAPS had sought physical possession of the property under Section 14 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act in late 2014.

However, three of Mallya’s companies – United Spirits Limited (USL), Kingfisher Airlines and United Breweries – had objected to the move.

Last week, media reports had said that Mallya put up a “villa manager” as a caretaker to thwart the bank’s attempt to take it over.

The villa was mortgaged to the lenders while obtaining loans for the now defunct airliner, but the caretaker, who claimed to be an employee of United Breweries, and the subsequent establishment of tenancy rights would have made it difficult for the banks to take over the property.

According to reports, bankers’ 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. USL had also approached a local court, citing provisions in the Portuguese Civil Code to block auction of the property in the past.

Credits ET Realty

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