The special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act on Tuesday declared businessman Vijay Mallya, who escaped the country on March 2, a proclaimed offender.
A person can be termed a proclaimed offender in a criminal case probe, if the court has reasons to believe that the accused against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued has absconded or is concealing himself, so such a warrant cannot be executed. The enforcement directorate (ED) had filed a plea seeking the declaration last week, after Mallya failed to appear before the agency for questioning in a money-laundering case.
When the case came up for hearing on Friday, Neeti Pondi, advocate for the agency, urged the court to pass an order, so the process of issuing a red corner notice against Mallya could be initiated. “Please pass an order on the application for proclamation against Mallya, so the agency can approach the ministry of external affairs for a red corner notice against him,” Pondi told the court.
“My officers have searched various places to execute the warrant against Mallya. However, he is not found and has left the country. We are submitting the report of the officers describing the places where the officers had searched for the accused for the perusal of the court,” Pondi told the court.
The court had, on April 18, issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya to secure his presence in India. It may be recalled that the ED had on Saturday attached Mallya’s property worth Rs1,411 crore.