The Supreme Court Friday issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate on industrialist Vijay Mallya’s plea challenging the ongoing proceedings in a Mumbai court to declare him a fugitive economic offender.
The fugitive tycoon was arrested in the UK last year and immediately granted bail. He has been facing trial since December last year, in which Indian agencies have sought for him to be extradited to face charges, including money-laundering.
SC issues notice on Vijay Mallya plea to stall proceedings initiated by Enforcement Directorate to declare him a fugitive. No stay of proceedings pending before Bombay trial court @IndianExpress
— Ananthakrishnan G (@axidentaljourno) December 7, 2018
Earlier this month, counsel for Mallya had said that the businessman cannot be termed a “fugitive economic offender”, as he was arrested in the United Kingdom and is facing an extradition trial there. Mallya’s counsel, Amit Desai, is arguing against him being declared a “fugitive economic offender” under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act that has provisions for confiscation of property even before trial.
In November, the Bombay High Court had refused to stay the hearing in ED’s petition to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender (FEO). Mallya had approached the high court after the trial court refused to grant him a stay until a hearing on the attachment of his property is over before an appellate tribunal in Delhi.
Last month, the ED had filed an application before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court seeking a fugitive tag for the tycoon under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018. The Act states that once a person is declared an FEO, the prosecuting agency has the power to confiscate the person’s properties.