Questions have been raised about former chairman and owner of  India’s United Breweries Vijay Mallya’s future on the board of directors of India’s biggest brewer.

Heineken is currently the effective controller of the Indian company thanks to a 44% shareholding, but when buying Mallya’s stake made an agreement that saw him appointed as chairman for life and a non-retiring director.

According to local reports there is now a question mark over whether Heineken wants him to continue on the board.

Mallya has been resident in the UK since 2016.

The businessman, formerly known as the “King of Good Times” due to his luxurious lifestyle, has been embroiled in various financial controversies since 2012 but the principle charge currently facing Mallya is his pursuit by a collective of 17 Indian banks that are currently seeking to collect approximately 9,000 crore (£1.15 billion) in loans.

These loans were supposedly used by Mallya to gain full or partial stakes in an estimated 40 companies around the world and Mallya’s defaulting on said loans was perhaps principally due to the 2012 collapse into bankruptcy of his Kingfisher airline.

Mallya issued a statement on the charges last month in which he condemned “various untenable and blatantly false allegations” against him and said: “I have become the ‘Poster Boy’ of bank default and lightning rod of public anger.”

While multiple charges have been laid against Mallya, it is the loans that are of interest to Heineken; as part of proceedings against him, India’s Economic Directorate has appropriated his shares in United Breweries in an attempt to recoup some of the money he owes to the consortium of banks.

It was reported in March that the confiscated shares would be worth approximately £530m and that any proceeds from the sale of said shares would be directed towards the debts owed to the banks.  Heineken, as likely the only serious contender for purchase of the shares, was reported that same month to have approached Indian authorities about buying the seized 15.2% tranche of shares.

In light of the seizure of the shares, and likely accounting for the legal troubles faced by Mallya (he was arrested in London in May and currently faces extradition hearings after being found guilty of contempt of court).

As he no longer formally holds any shares in the brewing company, it may be that Heineken’s previous agreement with Mallya can be legally considered null and void and Heineken is entitled to nominate a new chairman.

While Heineken is currently the de facto majority holder of United Breweries, purchase of Mallya’s seized shares would make it formally so; nomination of a new chairman would allow the Dutch brewer to solidify its hold on the company. Although its agreement with Mallya may make the issue problematic, the Indian businessman’s current legal troubles and previous barring from holding any executive office in a company quoted on the Indian stock markets may ease the path for Heineken to consolidate its position in the Indian market.

Heineken declined to comment on whether they were considering Mr. Mallya’s position.