Vi­jay Mallya Seeks Time Till May to Ap­pear Be­fore ED

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New Delhi | Mum­bai: A day be­fore the liquor baron Vi­jay Mallya was to ap­pear be­fore the En­force­ment Direc­torate (ED) in con­nec­tion with the money laun­der­ing probe, the be­lea­guered busi­ness­man sought time till May to de­pose be­fore the agency.

ED sources said that they are yet to take a de­ci­sion on his plea but con­firmed that Mallya is not ap­pear­ing be­fore them on April 2. ED sources also said that they might con­sider giv­ing few more weeks to Mallya af­ter study­ing his replies. How­ever, they did not rule out fur­ther le­gal ac­tion that in­cludes is­sue of non bail­able war­rant or re­vo­ca­tion of the pass­port.

Mallya has been hold­ing talks with bank of­fi­cials through video con­fer­enc­ing to which he owes .₹ 7000 crore. ED has first asked Mallya to be present be­fore them on March18. How­ever, Mallya, who left the coun­try on March 2, sought more time af­ter which the agency de­cided to ex­tend the dead­line till April 2. Un­der sec­tion 50 of the PMLA act, sum­mons is is­sued for pro­duc­tion of doc­u­ments or to en­sure at­ten­dance of a per­son. The sum­mons can be replied ei­ther through an au­tho­rised rep­re­sen­ta­tive or through per­sonal ap­pear­ance. Top ED sources also said that there is no pro­vi­sion un­der the money laun­der­ing law that al­lows a sus­pect to ap­pear through video con­fer­enc­ing in re­ply to a sum­mon.

Mean­while, Mallya-led United Brew­eries (Hold­ings) Ltd on Fri­day said its non-ex­ec­u­tive, non-in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tor Sidhartha V Mallya has va­cated the of­fice of di­rec­tor with ef­fect from March 31. This devel­op­ment comes days af­ter Mallya, who is be­lieved to be in the UK, took to Twit­ter to ask peo­ple not to tar­get his son Sid­dharth.

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