ED response sought on Mallya’s petition
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on businessman Vijay Mallya’s plea challenging the ongoing proceedings in a Mumbai court to declare him a fugitive economic offender.
However, a bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi refused to restrain the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai from hearing ED’s petition seeking a “fugitive” tag for Mallya.
The Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018, under which the ED has moved the special court, empowers the prosecuting agency to confiscate property of the person who is declared fugitive.
Mallya has approached the top court against Bombay High Court’s order declining him relief. The beleaguered businessman who reportedly fled to the United Kingdom in March 2016 has been accused of a default of Rs 9,000 crore that was given to the Kingisher Airlines by several banks.
Mallya is engaged in a litigation with Indian authorities in UK where extradition proceedings were initiated against him. The UK court has fixed December 10 to deliver its verdict on the extradition plea.
The ED had approached the special court in Mumbai seeking the “fugitive economic offender” and had also sought immediate confiscation of around Rs 12,500 crore worth of assets. Mallya had
SC REFUSED TO RESTRAIN THE SPECIAL PMLA COURT FROM HEARING ED’S PETITION SEEKING A ‘FUGITIVE’ TAG FOR VIJAY MALLYA
asked the tribunal to put its hearing on hold until the appellate tribunal under the PMLA takes up the plea of a consortium of banks seeking their dues. But the special court on October 30 rejected his plea, prompting Mallya to appeal before the HC.
Before the high court, Mallya said his plea should not be misunderstood and that he was not running away from proceedings. He reiterated he wanted to pay back the dues.
However, a high court bench of justices RM Savant and VK Jadhav rejected his appeal. The hearing at the trial court was at a premature stage as the lower court was still hearing the prosecuting agency’s request to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender.