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Banks reject Vijay Mallya's offer, say he must negotiate in person

A group of banks have informed the Supreme Court that they have rejected businessman Vijay Mallya's offer to pay back Rs 4,000 crore, less than half of defunct Kingfisher Airlines' debt.

The lenders, headed by State Bank of India (SBI), informed the court that for meaningful negotiation to happen, Mallya's presence is needed. They also said they have discarded a second offer yesterday. Details of that offer were not immediately known.

Mallya has been directed today to tell the court how much money he can pay to prove that he intends to make a significant settlement. The Supreme Court said he must submit his response by April 21 and that the banks will have to respond to that by April 25. The court also said that Mallya must inform when he will be present in court.

Vijay Mallya, 60, took off to London last month, and has refused to return for questioning to Mumbai. His lawyers say that he has communicated with his lenders via video conference, which means he is available and not on the run.

It was through a video call that Mallya proposed an offer to pay Rs 4,000 crore by September, with another Rs 2,000 crore if Kingfisher wins a court case seeking damages from a plane engine-maker.

The case will again come up for hearing on April 26.