ED summons Vijay Mallya; HC slams service tax dept
Liquor baron tweets that he has not fled India, will comply with law
BANGALORE/MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya came out swinging on Twitter on Friday, saying he had not fled the country and that he would comply with the law as investigators summoned him on March 18 over massive bank loan defaults.
“I am an international businessman. I travel to and from India frequently. I did not flee from India and neither am I an absconder. Rubbish,” the UB Group chairman tweeted from his personal Twitter account with the user name @TheVijayMallya.
The enforcement directorate (ED) summoned Mallya as part of its money-laundering probe over alleged default in payment of Rs 900 crore to IDBI Bank. Sources said Mallya was summoned to appear before investigators in Mumbai on March 18.
“The summons have been issued to Mallya under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the IDBI
case,” an official said.
The sources said Mallya was asked to furnish documents related to his personal finances.
The summons were issued on a day when A Raghunathan, a former chief financial officer of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, appeared before the ED.
The ED has pressed charges under various sections of the PMLA against Mallya and oth-
ers named in a CBI complaint. The CBI had booked Mallya, Raghunathan and unknown officials of IDBI Bank in its FIR alleging the loan was sanctioned in violation of norms on credit limits.
The Bombay high court questioned the service tax department’s seriousness in recovering dues running into crores of rupees while hearing its plea to get the money back from Mallya and others. In September and December last year, the high court issued notices summoning them and seeking their response to the service tax department’s charges. However, the notices were served only in February this year, a month before Mallya left India for London.
CONTINUED ON P10 RELATED REPORTS, P19
A Raghunathan, former CFO of Kingfisher Airlines, outside the ED office in Mumbai.