Fugitive Offenders Act won’t help banks: Mallya

The special FEO court will hear the matter pertaining to confiscation of Mr. Mallya’s properties on April 8.

April 01, 2019 09:47 pm | Updated 09:48 pm IST - Mumbai

Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s lawyer on Monday reiterated before the Bombay High Court that the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA) was a draconian law that wouldn’t help the creditors.

Pressing an appeal by Mr. Mallya against being declared a FEO, senior counsel Amit Desai told a division bench of Justices I. Mahanty and A.M. Badar that confiscation of properties was “draconian.” “The need of the hour is to deal with the banks and creditors. He [Mr. Mallya] does not want the properties to be returned to him but confiscation is not going to solve the banks’ problems,” Mr. Desai said.

On January 5, the special FEO court had declared Mr. Mallya a FEO under the new law. On June 22, 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed an application at the PMLA court to declare Mr. Mallya a FEO and sought orders to confiscate all his properties estimated to be about ₹12,500 crore.

The special FEO court will hear the matter pertaining to confiscation of Mr. Mallya’s properties on April 8.

The ED’s counsel submitted to the bench: “these proceedings are to ensure that persons committing fraud who leave the country are brought back. As soon as Mr. Mallya returns to India, all the provisions of this Act and the process initiated under it shall become null and void.” The matter will be heard on April 24.

In the last hearing, Mr. Desai had argued that every defaulter of a bank loan was not a criminal. He said Mr. Mallya was willing to pay the entire loan but by declaring him a FEO his assets would be confiscated which would harm the creditors.

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