The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sent a detailed communication, along with legal inputs, to the Interpol which had recently sought some “clarifications” from it before notifying an arrest warrant against liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in a money laundering case emerging from an alleged Rs. 900 crore bank loan fraud.
The agency has told Interpol that it has followed all legal procedures for seeking a red corner notice (RCN) against him. It has also said that orders were issued by the courts after hearing the counsels of the ED and Mr. Mallya, officials said.
The ED has told the global police body that issuance of RCN against Mr. Mallya is “obligatory” on the part of Interpol as all due legal processes have been followed by Indian probe agencies to seek such a warrant against an accused to make him join probe and ensure justice to the victim (banks).
It has also informed Interpol that the agency is seeking a proclaimed offender status against Mr. Mallya from a competent court. A decision in this regard is expected from a Mumbai court on Monday.
Earlier, Interpol had asked the ED to provide certain detailed information on the legal processes undertaken by the agency in the case before it can notify a RCN against Mr. Mallya.
The RCN was sought sometime back by the investigating officer of the case to make the beleaguered businessman join probe in the Rs. 900 crore alleged loan fraud of the IDBI bank, which is also being probed by the CBI.
On Saturday, the ED’s Mumbai office had attached assets worth Rs. 1,411 crore of Mr. Mallya and one of his company.
Mr. Mallya had left India on March 2, 2016 using his diplomatic passport and is believed to be in the U.K.
An RCN is issued “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action” in a criminal case probe.
Once an RCN is issued, Interpol seeks to arrest the person concerned in any part of the world and notifies that country to take his or her custody for further action at their end.
Mr. Mallya and others are being probed by the ED in the Rs. 900-crore IDBI loan fraud case in which it registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in early 2015.
Britain had recently made it clear that Mr. Mallya cannot be deported and asked India to seek his extradition instead and the agency is mulling invoking the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between the two countries.
The British government said it acknowledges “the seriousness of allegations” against Mr. Mallya and was “keen to assist” the Indian government in this case.