No further summons, Enforcement Directorate mulls moving court against Vijay Mallya
New Delhi: After beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya failed to present himself before Enforcement Directorate investigators for the third time, the agency is said to be considering moving court against him. According to reports, the ED may either revoke his passport or move a court to obtain a non-bailable warrant against him.
“No further summons would be issued. We are examining legal course of action under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). A decision would be likely be taken by evening,” an ED official said.
The agency had issued fresh summons last week to Mallya asking him to appear on April 9 after he sought two extensions from the earlier dates of March 18 and April 2 citing official reasons. But Mallya failed to appear before the ED and sought time till May to depose before it in connection with a money laundering probe in the over Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case.
Officials said Mallya had informed the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case in Mumbai that he will be unable to depose personally citing the ongoing legal proceedings going in the Supreme Court over settlement of loans.
Mallya was first summoned by the agency to "appear in person" at its office in Mumbai on March 18 but he sought more time citing his prior engagements, following which the agency asked him to depose on April 2. Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for alleged default of loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore from various banks, was also directed by the Supreme Court to disclose all assets owned by him and his family in India and abroad by April 21.
The Supreme Court also sought to know when he will appear before the apex court. The directions by the apex court came after a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India "unanimously rejected" his proposal to pay Rs 4,000 crore by September towards settlement of his loans.
The bench agreed with the consortium that Mallya's presence was necessary in the country to show his bona fides that he was serious about settling his dues. He is reported to be in the UK after he left India on March 2.
The ED has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI. The agency is also investigating financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loans.