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Bombay HC dismisses Vijay Mallya’s appeal seeking stay on ED’s request to declare him offender under new law

The investigating agency that probes financial crime wants Mallya to be declared as a fugitive economic offender and his properties to be confiscated under the new law in connection with a Rs 9,000 crore alleged bank fraud case and sought orders to confiscate all his properties, estimated to be around Rs12,500 crore.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2018 17:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
Bombay high court,Vijay Mallya,ED
The Bombay HC has dismissed an appeal by liquor baron Vijay Mallya seeking a stay on the Enforcement Directorate’s request.(AP)

The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by liquor baron Vijay Mallya seeking a stay on the Enforcement Directorate’s request before a trial court to initiate proceedings against him under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, news agency ANI reported.

The investigating agency that probes financial crime wants Mallya to be declared as a fugitive economic offender and his properties to be confiscated under the new law in connection with a Rs 9,000 crore alleged bank fraud case and sought orders to confiscate all his properties, estimated to be around Rs12,500 crore.

Under the new law, a fugitive economic offender is an individual against whom warrants for arrest is issued for his involvement in select economic offences involving an amount of at least Rs 100 crore or more and has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 got the nod from the President in August this year.

The embattled liquor tycoon faced another setback on Wednesday in his battle to save his posh London home from foreclosure by Swiss bank UBS after the UK High Court rejected many of the arguments relied on by his legal team.

The bank has sought repossession of the property at Cornwall Terrace, overlooking Regent’s Park in central London, over the non-payment of a 20.4-million pounds mortgage loan. The property was referred to in the UK High Court as a “high-class home for Dr Vijay Mallya and his family members and United Breweries Group corporate guests”.

Mallya, the liquor baron who founded the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, fled India in March 2016 even as a debt court in Bengaluru was set to act against him for defaulting on loans issued by several banks led by the state-owned State Bank of India. The 62-year-old is fighting an effort to get him extradited to India on charges of fraud and money laundering.

He remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard last year on fraud and money laundering charges brought by the Indian government. A ruling in his extradition case is expected at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London next month.

The extradition trial, which opened at the London court on December 4 last year, is aimed at laying out a prima facie case of fraud against Mallya and establishing there are no bars to him being extradited to face Indian courts over the allegations relating to loans made out to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

In separate legal proceedings, the businessman had also lost his appeal in the UK’s Court of Appeal against a UK High Court order in favour of 13 Indian banks to recover funds amounting to nearly 1.145 billion pounds.

The UK High Court order, earlier this year, in favour of the State Bank of India (SBI) led consortium had reinforced a worldwide freezing order against Mallya’s assets.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Nov 22, 2018 14:15 IST