Mallya's airline troubles won't seep into in Force India

© Ubaid Parkar, 15 October 2012
AP Photo/Alberto Pellaschiar

A non-bailable arrest warrant issued against Force India team principal Vijay Mallya will not affect the Formula 1 outfit in any way.

A high court in the Indian city of Hyderabad ordered the Kingfisher airlines boss to be taken into custody on charges of bouncing cheques worth $1.9 million to the consortium running the airport in the region.

With more than $1 billion in debt, the cash-strapped airline has stopped selling tickets on its website through Oct. 20 as it struggles to convince pilots and engineers who haven’t been paid for months to return to work.

But Force India remains independent of all these worries.

"I think there's been a request for warrants, I don't think they've been issued... but I am 100 percent sure they haven't been served," deputy team principal Bob Fernely told Reuters. "It doesn't affect the team at all. It has no bearing whatsoever.

"I don't think it will go anywhere," he continued. "It is an offence in India to issue a cheque without the funds being there, for sure. There is substance in that, for sure. Why it was done I don't know. It is so far below Vijay he wouldn't have a clue what is going on anyway."

Mallya, who also owns a cricket team in the Indian Premier League, sold a part of his Force India stake to conglomerate company Sahara last year with both sharing 42.5 percent each of the squad.

But despite juggling his various business and the troubles with his ailing airlines, Force India will not bear any shocks.

"For some reason in Formula 1 we are captivated by our own self-importance. In Vijay's world, the Formula 1 programme is a relatively small entity," Fernely explained. "I'm saddened by the stories because I think it's probably political mischief that's gone on in India... Vijay is obviously a target at the moment."

 

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