Mallya turns to SC to stop ED from tag­ging him as ‘fugi­tive’

DNA (Delhi) - - FRONT PAGE - Abra­ham Thomas abra­[email protected]­dia.net

New Delhi: The Supreme Court agreed to hear a pe­ti­tion by liquor baron Vi­jay Mallya on Fri­day, chal­leng­ing the En­force­ment Direc­torate’s move to de­clare him a fugi­tive eco­nomic of­fender. How­ever, the apex court re­fused to stay pro­ceed­ings pend­ing against him in a Mum­bai court.

The Fugi­tive Eco­nomic Of­fend­ers (FEO) Act 2018 in­tro­duced in July 2018 is more dra­co­nian than the ex­ist­ing Preven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing Act as the En­force­ment Direc­torate can “im­me­di­ately” at­tach the prop­er­ties of a per­son once s/he is de­clared by the Spe­cial PMLA court as a fugi­tive eco­nomic of­fender un­der the new law.

Ever since ED moved the ap­pli­ca­tion un­der the new act to at­tach Mallya’s as­sets worth Rs 12,500 crore, the Lon­don-based busi­ness ty­coon has lost his peace. Be­ing the first per­son to face the wrath un­der the new law, Mallya has re­sorted to le­gal means to de­lay pro­ceed­ings. He moved an ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the Spe­cial Court judge for stay of pro­ceed­ings. On Oc­to­ber 30, the spe­cial court turned down his re­quest, forc­ing him to ap­proach the Bom­bay High Court with a sim­i­lar prayer. Af­ter High Court dis­missed his plea on Novem­ber 22, the ap­peal was filed in the apex court.

Ap­pear­ing for Mallya, se­nior ad­vo­cate Fali S Na­ri­man told a bench headed by Chief Jus­tice Ran­jan Go­goi that the as­sets sought to be at­tached are al­ready un­der at­tach­ment or­ders passed by the ED as per PMLA pro­ceed­ings.

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