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1-min read

Vijay Mallya 'Willing' to Return to India, Say Sources, as Fugitive Offenders Bill Arms Govt to Seize Property

Mallya, who is contesting in a London court the Indian government's action for extradition, is said to have sent feelers to authorities that he would like to join the legal process in India.

News18.com

Updated:July 25, 2018, 7:23 AM IST
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New Delhi: Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the main accused in a Rs 9,000 crore alleged bank fraud case, is understood to have sounded out to Indian authorities that he was willing to come back home to face the law, official sources said on Tuesday.

Mallya, who is contesting in a London court the Indian government's action for extradition, is said to have sent feelers to authorities that he would like to join the legal process in India and contest the recent action against him under the Fugitive Economic Offender Ordinance.

Under this recently promulgated ordinance, the government can immediately confiscate all linked properties of Mallya in the country and abroad.

However, top sources in investigative agencies said the final contours of the move are still not clear as they refused to divulge more details.

A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Mumbai had last month issued summons to the beleaguered businessman to appear before it on August 27 on the Enforcement Directorate's plea seeking action against him under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance in the over Rs 9,000 crore bank fraud case.

The central probe agency, as part of this action, has also sought immediate confiscation of assets worth around Rs 12,500 crore of Mallya.

If he does not appear before the court or respond to its summons on the designated date, Mallya risks being declared a fugitive economic offender, besides properties linked to him being confiscated.

Mallya, his now defunct venture Kingfisher Airlines Limited and others availed loans from various banks during the tenure of the UPA-I government and the outstanding amount, including interest, against him is Rs 9,990.07 crore at present, officials had said.

He had recently said he has become the "poster boy" of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger.

The liquor baron had said that he had written letters to both the prime minister and the finance minister on April 15, 2016, to explain his side of the story.

Both the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have filed separate criminal cases of alleged loan default against him.

A hearing in the extradition case is expected to be heard in London this month end where a team of Indian investigators will remain present.

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