Bengaluru– The Income Tax Department on Thursday cautioned the public against buying over 41 lakh equity shares of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya in his company that the Debt Recovery Tribunal-II has put up for sale through e-auction on October 30, an official said.

“We are cautioning the public that buying Mallya’s shares in his subsidiary company United Racing and Bloodstock Breeders Ltd (URBBL) in the e-auction will be at their own risk because they (shares) are under our charge (custody) against the outstanding demand in a tax evasion case,” I-T official N. Rathi told IANS here.

The Tribunal has put on sale 41,52,272 shares of Mallya in URBBL through e-auction on October 30 to recover the outstanding amounts a consortium of 17 banks had lent to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd between 2008 and 2012.

“Sale or transfer of these shares will be void in terms of Section 281 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Any person purchasing such shares will be doing at his/her own risk,” added Rathi, citing a public notice issued by the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Karnataka and Goa circle.

The Service Tax department served a notice to Kingfisher for dues of Rs 87.5 crore, which the airline had collected from the passengers but not deposited with it.

“We have created 2 years ago a charge against the said shares on account of the outstanding demand from his airline,” added Rathi.

The flamboyant Mallya formed the unlisted company (URBBL) in 1988 to bring under a single banner his growing interest in racing and breeding horses.

In 1992, he took over the historic Kuningal Stud Farm, about 70 km northwest of Bengaluru, to breed horses for racing in top class fillies.

Mallya, 63, has been living in Britain since he left India in early March 2016 after the banks moved the Tribunal here against sale of his assets, including shares in his group firms for not paying back the loans over Rs 9,000 crore he raised from state-run and private banks to sustain his loss-making airline.

In the Tribunal’s September 19 e-auction, Delhi-based Choudhary Aviation Facilities Ltd bought Mallya’s two helicopters for Rs 8.75 crore and Rs 4.37 crore. The choppers were parked in Mumbai.

“Our company bought the two personal copters of Mally Afor Rs 8.75 crore at the price of Rs 4.37 crore each in the electronic bidding conducted by the DRT in Bengaluru,” Choudhary Aviation Director Satyendra Sehrawat told IANS from Delhi then.

The Tribunal held the e-auction on behalf of a consortium of 17 banks which filed the case in 2013 against Mallya and his defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd for defaulting on loans borrowed from 2007-12. (IANS)