Mumbai, June 14: The Special Enforcement Directorate (ED) court began hearing the arguments of probing counsel against Vijay Mallya on Tuesday. ED has demanded the court to declare Mallya a ‘proclaimed offender’, which would allow the Ministry of External Affairs to press United Kingdom to deport him back to India.

ED counsel Neeti Pondi claimed the rules of European Union would allow extradition of Mallya only if he is declared as proclaimed offender. Pondi urged Special Judge PR Bhavake to declare Mallya as proclaimed offender since he is “willfully evading arrest”. The declaration is necessary to make the red corner notice against Mallya effective, the counsel said.

By declaring Mallya as ‘proclaimed offender’, the court would give the formal approval of his arrest. As per the Sections 82, 83 CrPC, a ‘proclaimed offender’ needs to be arrested and produced before the court, rather than the bench issuing summons to him.

The court would be further hearing arguments related to the Rs 900 crores loan taken by Mallya from IDBI. The investigation conducted by ED reveals that Mallya used Rs 430 crores of the amount to buy offshore properties.

However, in the past week, Mallya released an official statement in which the liquor baron claimed innocence. “The downfall of United Breweries and loss of Kingfisher were genuine business failures,” he said, denying the allegations of ‘willful defaulting’ labelled by banks against him.

The former chief of United Breweries has defaulted an amount of nearly Rs 9,400 crores taken from a total of 17 Indian banks. As legal pressure began mounting on him, Mallya left the nation in March. He is currently residing in his posh mansion in London.