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Special Court Summons Vijay Mallya on August 27, Will be Tagged 'Fugitive' on Non-Appearance

If Mallya does not appear before the designated court within the given time, he will be declared as a ‘fugitive’ and the Enforcement Directorate will move to confiscate his assets worth Rs 12,500 crore.

News18.com

Updated:June 30, 2018, 6:52 PM IST
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New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya has been summoned by a special anti-money laundering court on August 27 under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, an official said.

The May 27 ordinance gives the law enforcing agencies powers to attach and confiscate the proceeds of crime and properties of economic offenders like bank defaulters or bank fraudsters fleeing the country, and is aimed at deterring economic offenders from evading the process of law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

If Mallya does not appear before the designated court within the given time, he will be declared as a ‘fugitive’ and the Enforcement Directorate will move to confiscate his assets worth Rs 12,500 crore.

Special judge MS Azmi, dealing with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases, issued the notice to Mallya after taking cognisance of the second ED charge sheet filed against him recently and a subsequent application by it on June 22 seeking a fugitive economic offenders tag.

This is the first time that action has been initiated under the ordinance recently promulgated by the central government.

The 62-year-old liquor baron, who fled the country on March 2, 2016, has been living in London since then despite summons from Indian courts and law enforcement agencies to appear before them for trial in various related cases.

Mallya's now-defunct venture Kingfisher Airlines Limited and others availed loans from various banks, with the outstanding amount, including interest, against him being Rs 9,990.07 crore at present.

Earlier this week, Mallya had claimed that he had honestly tried to repay bank loans since 2016 and denied his offer to settle the dues was linked to the ordinance.

"It is incorrect that my settlement offer before the Karnataka HC was motivated by the latest chargesheet under the media reported Fugitive Ordinance. I always had honest intentions to settle and there is ample proof," Mallya had tweeted.

"I am asked for comment on being labelled a fugitive economic offender. When I have placed assets on the table before the Karnataka High Court in excess of the bank claims, how can I be an economic offender? The fugitive part falls away," said Mallya in another tweet.

Referring to some people asking him why he chose to make a statement at this time, he said he did so because he and his United Breweries Holding Ltd (UBHL) have filed an application before the high court on June 22, setting out assets worth Rs 13,900 crore.

"I made my media statement concurrent with my settlement offer now and was unable to make such an offer before due to various circumstantial changes about the value of my assets available," he tweeted.

Currently, undergoing an extradition trial in a UK court over fraud and money laundering charges by Indian authorities, the liquor baron said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) have filed charge sheets against him "with various untenable and blatantly false allegations acting at the behest of the government and lending banks".

(With agency inputs)

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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