The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved a special court in Mumbai to declare Vijay Mallya, chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, a proclaimed offender in connection with a money laundering probe against him in the alleged over Rs 900 crore IDBI bank loan fraud case.
The agency in its plea has said that Mallya has failed to respond to the notices and summons of the agency and has not appeared before the ED even once. The investigative agency had on April 19 obtained a non-bailable warrant against Mallya after he failed to appear before the agency.
The court which hears cases pertaining to Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) will pronounce its order in the case on June 13.
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If the court declares Mallya a proclaimed offender, it will strengthen ED’s case for Mallya’s extradition from the UK said sources. It will also help ED attach the domestic properties of Mallya. The ED had on May 12 requested the Interpol to issue a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Mallya.
Earlier the UK government informed India that Mallya, can’t be deported as per British laws. The UK, however, said that it could consider an extradition request for him. The extradition can happen under the 1993 treaty or any other necessary assistance under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) signed in 1992 between India and the UK. Mallya and his firm Kingfisher Airlines allegedly owe over Rs 9,000 crore to at least 17 Indian banks. The company has come under the scanner of multiple investigating agencies in the country.
“There are multiple arrest warrants pending against Mallya in various cases like that of cheque bounce and he is also wanted in a money laundering case. The agency has briefed the court about the status of investigations in the case and the need to get Mallya join probe,” officials said. A person can be termed a proclaimed offender in a criminal case probe if the court has reasons to believe that the accused against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by it, has absconded or is concealing himself so that such warrant cannot be executed.
As per Section 82 of the CrPC, the court can publish a written proclamation requiring such an accused to appear at a specified place and at a specified time in not less than 30 days from the date of publishing of such a proclamation. They said the agency also has the option to seek action under Section 83 of the CrPC (attachment of property of person absconding) if Mallya does not comply with proceedings initiated under Section 82.In any case the agency is already preparing to attach Mallya’s properties worth about Rs 1,400 crore under PMLA.