"Well, I think it's not only a legal but a moral obligation that every banking institution in India has to recover the last pie," Jaitley said.

The government cannot accept a "situation where 15 or 20 people are sitting on so much money of the banks, that the ability of the banks to lend to thousands of others" get severely impacted, he said.

"...whatever steps the banks will take in this matter, the government of India will stand behind them but also actively encourage them to protect their own interest which is also the larger public interest because the public money is involved in the banks.

"After all, I am taxing the people of India to put money into the capital of the banks," he cited. The Supreme Court will tomorrow hear a plea of 13 banks, which had advanced loans of over Rs 9,000 crore to Mallya's firm, seeking a direction to restrain him from leaving India.

The Debt Recovery Tribunal yesterday barred Mallya from accessing USD 75 million (Rs 515 crore) exit payment from Diageo till the loan default case with SBI is settled while the ED registered a money laundering case against him in another default case.

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