Mumbai: A probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has alleged that “outside pressure and intervention” was used in the “sanction and disbursement of corporate loan of Rs 2,000 crore” to the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.
The report clearly depicts that an analysis of emails revealed cases of “corporate espionage,” freebies to politicians, officials and bureaucrats to buy influence and co-opting of independent directors using incentives and contracts.
Mallya “obtained information or data on number of passengers, market share etc., from officials of DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) even before the data were placed before the top official of DGCA (Director General of DGCA)” and using this data he was “was able to under cut the prices/fare and tried to capture and dent the market share of competitors”
On the other side of the spectrum, Mallya granted favours to “politically influential persons for travel in Kingfisher Airlines (by offering business or first-class seats always against the payment of economy class fare) and paid the expenses relating to hiring of chartered helicopters used during elections”.
Some independent directors of Kingfisher Airlines did not fulfil their duties. Some of them were flown to Paris with their spouses for a board meeting. At that meeting, they did not raise any questions related to the health of the group.
Kingfisher owes more than Rs 9000 crore to at least 17 lenders including SBI, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and United Bank of India.