New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the proceedings of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against absconding businessman Vijay Mallya in a Mumbai court to declare the latter a fugitive economic offender.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul, however, issued a notice to the ED seeking its reply on Mallya’s plea challenging the ongoing proceedings.
The ED moved the special court seeking to declare the London based industrialist a fugitive economic offender under the Fugitive Economic Offender Act 2018.
The Bombay High Court recently dismissed Mallya’s appeal. The industrialist has filed an appeal against the high court order.
The development comes a day after Mallya, who is accused of defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, that he offered to repay the entire amount of the principal loan he owed to various banks.
In his tweet, Mallya also rejected any links between the extradition of AgustaWestland middleman Christian James from Dubai and his offer to settle the loans.
On Wednesday morning, Mallya, in a series of tweets, had offered to repay the entire amount of the principal loan he owed to various banks.
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss, who has been on bail in the UK on an extradition warrant since his arrest in April last year, is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering allegedly amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores.
A ruling in the case is expected at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on December 10, but the businessman stressed that the extradition issue was a “separate” matter which will take its “own legal course”.
Mallya is fighting his extradition from the UK to India in a trial which opened in London on December 4 last year. The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian government, has attempted to lay out a prima facie case of fraud against Mallya and establish there are no bars to him being extradited to face Indian courts over the allegations relating to loans made out to erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines.
In separate legal proceedings, the businessman had lost an appeal in the UK’s Court of Appeal earlier this year against a UK High Court order in favour of 13 Indian banks to recover funds amounting to nearly 1.145 billion pounds.
The banks, led by State Bank of India (SBI), have since been pursuing ways of recouping the debt as part of a worldwide freezing order. In one of the most recent orders in the case last week, they had acquired the court’s permission to pursue any surplus funds from the sale of a luxury yacht formerly owned by Mallya.