Mumbai: The special court today gave 3 weeks time to Vijay Mallya to file his reply, on Enforcement Directorate’s application. Mallya has to file reply by September 24. After that the court will decide the course of hearing. The court is hearing the case in relation to the alleged default of over Rs 9,000 crore bank loans extended to now-defunct airline Kingfisher Airlines. Also Read - Supreme Court Dismisses Vijay Mallya's Review Plea Against 2017 Contempt Verdict
The businessman is currently contesting his extradition case in London filed by the Indian government on behalf of the CBI and ED. The special court fixed September 3 as hearing date for deciding the fate of Vijay Mallya in fugitive economic offender case. Also Read - CBI’s Special Investigation Team Probing Vijay Mallya, Takes Over Sushant Singh Rajput Case
Earlier the date for hearing was extended as court documents were sought by five parties, including a family member of Mallya, with regard to the declaration of the businessman as a fugitive economic offender under the new law. Also Read - India Requests UK Not to Consider Any Asylum Requests by Vijay Mallya, Calls For Early Extradition
The notice was issued to Vijay Mallya on June 30 to appear before it on August 27 after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) charged the liquor baron under the new law as it enlarged its money laundering probe against him and others in a RS 9,000 alleged bank fraud case.
The court had earlier issued non-bailable warrants against the businessman in two cases filed by the ED.
Mallya’s now defunct venture Kingfisher Airlines Limited and others availed loans from various banks and the outstanding amount, including interest, against him is Rs 9,990.07 crore at present, the officials had said while filing the plea under the new law.
Mallya, in the past, has said that he has become the “poster boy of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger. I have been accused by politicians and the media alike of having stolen and run away with Rs 9,000 crores that was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). Some of the lending banks have also labelled me a wilful defaulter, he said.
The new law was brought as there have been instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of Indian courts, anticipating the commencement, or during the pendency, of criminal proceedings.
The law has provisions for special courts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to declare a person as a fugitive economic offender and order immediate confiscation of assets.
A fugitive economic offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution, the government had said.
The cases of frauds, cheque dishonour or loan default of over Rs 100 crore would come under the ambit of the ordinance.
(With PTI Inputs)