India Legal Bureau
In a significant and moral victory for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a special PMLA court in Mumbai declared Vijay Mallya a “proclaimed offender”. The tag mandates that Mallya must appear in person at a fixed place and time within 30 days.
The Court was convinced that the arrest warrant issued by ED against Mallya could not be executed as he was deliberately hiding abroad and declaring him a “proclaimed offender” was justified.
The ED desperately wanted the “tag” in a money laundering probe against Mallya, related to an IDBI bank loan case. The loan was taken by the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, but a major portion of it was allegedly siphoned off abroad.
The proclaimed offender’s tag will also help ED in making a strong case for Mallya’s extradition from the UK.
According to India Legal sources, ED officials shared several interesting arguments related to the probe against Mallya in the special PMLA court.
Making a strong case for the proclaimed offender’s tag, the ED pleaded that it had searched Mallya’s offices in Mumbai and Bengaluru but could not find him. It also apprised the court about reports appearing in the media that Mallya was already selling his properties in London.
Numerous arrest warrants have been issued against the liquor baron. The one under PMLA is one of them.
A plea for issuing a Red Corner Notice against Mallya has already been made by ED to the Interpol.
The ED has already attached assets of Mallya to the tune of Rs 1,411 crore in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Coorg and Chennai.