New Delhi: The special court which was all set to pronounce its order on an application filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking the declaration of businessman Vijay Mallya as a “fugitive economic offender” on Wednesday, December 26 has adjourned its verdict till January 5. The confiscation of his properties is also likely to take place later.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed an application before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court requesting it that Mallya, facing charges of financial irregularities, be declared a fugitive under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018.

Under the provisions of the Act, once a person is declared a “fugitive economic offender”, the prosecuting agency has the powers to confiscate his properties. After hearing detailed arguments over the plea, PMLA Judge MS Azmi said order on the application will be given today.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed an application before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court requesting it that Mallya, facing charges of financial irregularities, be declared a fugitive under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018.

Under the provisions of the Act, once a person is declared a “fugitive economic offender”, the prosecuting agency has the powers to confiscate his properties. Mallya, through his lawyer Amit Desai, had sought dismissal of the plea and termed the new Act as “draconian” in nature.

Desai had countered ED’s claims that the liquor baron had left India for Geneva in March 2016 with “300 luggage bags” under the garb of attending a conference but in reality, he was escaping from the country. “The ED should find out from the airline provider how many bags he (Mallya) had before making such wild allegations,” Desai said.

Desai also submitted an affidavit on behalf of his client which included the minutes of a meeting held in Paris on December 2, 2015, which he claimed was attended by Mallya. According to the affidavit, it was in this meeting that it was decided to hold the March 2016 meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

Vijay Mallya, who is currently in the United Kingdom, has been charged by the ED of defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs. 9,000 crore. The 62-year-old businessman is also facing money laundering charges. A court in London has ordered his extradition to India.