Supreme Court Asks Centre to Respond to Liquor Baron Vijay Mallya’s Petition

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NEW DELHI:
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond to liquor baron Vijay Mallya petition against the move to declare him a fugitive and confiscate his assets but did not stay the proceedings. Mallya approached the top court this week after the Bombay high court rejected his plea to halt proceedings on November 22.

In September, Vijay Mallya told the Prevention of Money Laundering Act court that “he was not a fugitive economic offender” and not involved in the scheduled offence of money laundering. Mallya on Thursday approached the Supreme Court after the Bombay High Court and PMLA court rejected his plea.

The central agency, which investigates financial crimes, had initiated the proceedings against Mallya after two separate offences were registered against him in connection with huge loans taken for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, from a consortium of 12 banks led by the State Bank of India.

It had moved the special PMLA court invoking provisions of recently-enacted Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, seeking to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender. Mallya has made repeated offers in the last two day to Indian authorities to accept his settlement before the Karnataka High Court, ahead of Westminster magistrate’s court Monday’s verdict on India’s attempt to extradite him from the UK.

The businessman is facing extradition from the United Kingdom to India to face charges of financial irregularities running into thousands of crores. Mallya fled India in March 2016 even as a debt court in Bengaluru was set to act against him for defaulting on loans issued by several banks led by the state-owned State Bank of India.

Besides the extradition case, Mallya is also facing recovery action against his assets in the UK brought by 13 Indian banks and another mortgage recovery action by the UBS Bank against his house in central London.

 

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