A police case has been registered against UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya, after Bangalore International Airport Ltd alleged he owed it over Rs 200 crore in dues on behalf of his now-grounded airline, Kingfisher.
Police sources said the Judicial Magistrate First Class, hearing a complaint by BIAL, had directed it to the local police for registration of a complaint for investigation.
Earlier this week, the company had filed a case alleging the airline owed it Rs 70 crore in passenger service fee. Other fees, like the user development fee, also collected by an airline along with the passenger service fee at the time of issuing a ticket, have allegedly not been remitted to BIAL. Airlines typically collect these fees from passengers and remit these; some of these fees are then transferred to the Government of India by the airport.
"The magistrate has directed them to the police and a complaint (First Information Report) has been filed at the BIAL police station. The case will now be investigated and since this is a financial matter, records of both parties involved will be perused," the police official said.
A spokesperson of the UB Group said it had no knowledge of the FIR. "We are not aware of the purported proceedings filed by BIAL, as we have not been served with any copies thereof till date," he said. "At any rate, it is apparent that what is at best a civil dispute is being given the colour of criminality, solely to compel us to submit to the demands of BIAL, notwithstanding that we have legitimate defence." The spokesperson said the company would cooperate with the police if an investigation had been ordered.
The police source said BIAL has sought action under the penal code sections 403 & 404 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 & 409 (criminal breach of trust), 418 & 420 (cheating and dishonesty) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
BIAL had earlier sued United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL), promoter of Kingfisher Airlines, for its guarantee on dues, of approximately Rs 75 crore in user development fee and passenger service fee. The latter is a charge made by the airport authority to an airline for the use of the terminal, runway, emergency services and security facilities. This non-refundable variable charge may also include the cost of passenger and ramp handling at the airport.
UBHL is said to have promised to pay BIAL Rs 15 crore, which the company says it has not received till date.