ED sum­mons Vi­jay Mallya; HC slams ser­vice tax dept

Liquor baron tweets that he has not fled In­dia, will com­ply with law

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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

ANSHUMAN POYREKAR/ HT

A Raghunathan, for­mer CFO of King­fisher Air­lines, out­side the ED of­fice in Mum­bai.

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