Mallya snubs ED thrice in a row, seeks time till May

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

MUM­BAI: Vi­jay Mallya did not ap­pear be­fore the En­force­ment Direc­torate (ED) on Satur­day for ques­tion­ing in an al­leged money laun­der­ing case — the third time he has failed to abide by sum­mons from the in­ves­ti­ga­tors. The liquor baron has now asked for time till May.

Se­nior ED of­fi­cials said they are mulling stern ac­tion as Mallya has ex­hausted the num­ber of sum­mons he can skip — a max­i­mum of three — un­der the Pre­ven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing Act (PMLA). Of­fi­cials privy to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­fused to di­vulge fur­ther de­tails, but sources said the ED’s op­tions in­clude seek­ing an ar­rest war­rant against Mallya and re­vok­ing his pass­port.

“We are yet to de­cide what ac­tion is to be taken, con­sider- ing this devel­op­ment. We may come to a de­ci­sion by Mon­day. We are scout­ing all op­tions we have un­der the PMLA,” a se­nior ED of­fi­cer said, re­quest­ing anonymity.

The ED’s third and fi­nal sum­mons to Mallya was on April 2, when the agency asked him to ap­pear on Satur­day.

Mallya has ear­lier asked for more time from the ED — he was first asked to ap­pear on March 18, and then on April 2. Af­ter the sec­ond sum­mons, he of­fered to re­pay more than half of the Rs7,000 crore his now de­funct air­line owes cred­i­tors.

The move sig­nalled that pres­sure from banks and the mon­ey­laun­der­ing probe against him may be work­ing.

CON­TIN­UED ON P10

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