Court declares Mallya a proclaimed offender

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya at an interview with the “Financial Times” in London.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court here on Tuesday declared businessman Vijay Mallya a “proclaimed offender” on a request by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its money laundering probe against him in an alleged Rs. 900 crore loan default case.

The Directorate’s application was filed under Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) after Mr. Mallya failed to respond to summons, and a non-bailable warrant was issued against him by the court.

A person is termed a proclaimed offender in a criminal investigation if the court believes that the accused has absconded or is concealing himself so that a warrant cannot be executed.

30-day deadline

As per the provisions of the Cr.PC, Mr. Mallya would be required to appear before the PMLA court and the investigating agency within 30 days. The application also included the observation of the Supreme Court in a Foreign Exchange Regulation Act case, where Mr. Mallya had evaded summons in 2000-2001.

The ED application submitted in court read: “An FIR has been registered against him under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent) and Section 120 B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code for investigation into the suspected offences of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust etc relating to Rs. 900 crore of loan sanctioned by IDBI Bank, Mumbai to M/s Kingfisher Airlines Ltd in which Mr. Mallya is one of the accused among other co-accused.

“It is submitted that out of the said amounts, a major portion has been remitted outside India. Thus, the offence… has got international ramifications, which needs to be investigated.”

The agency also put on record dates when three summons were issued to Mr. Mallya — March 10, 15 and April 2. Special Judge P.R. Bhavake issued a non-bailable warrant against the businessman on April 18.

The agency submitted: “Mr. Mallya as the Chairman of M/s Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. appears to have committed gross irregularities in utilising the said bank loans and is suspected to have been primarily instrumental in diversion and laundering of funds…”

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 12:39:53 PM |

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