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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Vijay Mallya is ready to pay his dues, lawyer tells PMLA court

Vijay Mallya — who is currently in London— has so far neither appeared in court, nor submitted any undertaking indicating he would join the process of law in India, the ED’s counsel, DP Singh, told the court.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2018 23:52 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Indian businessman Vijay Mallya at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on December 5, 2017.
Indian businessman Vijay Mallya at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on December 5, 2017.(AP File Photo)
         

Vijay Mallya is willing to sign consent terms with the Indian government about paying his dues to creditors, the businessman’s lawyer told a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Thursday.

The PMLA court began hearing a plea by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which wants to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender and confiscate his properties in India.

Mallya — who is currently in London — has so far neither appeared in court, nor submitted any undertaking indicating he would join the process of law in India, the ED’s counsel, DP Singh, told the court.

Mallya’s lawyer, Amit Desai, however argued that confiscating properties would not help authorities, as the properties would all end up in the consolidated funds of the government, and no one would have a claim over them.

Read| In another setback for Vijay Mallya, court rejects plea to stay ‘fugitive’ proceedings

“The rights of creditors would go. Further, all the proceedings before various forums and tribunals initiated by banks and the accused, over the rights to the properties, would also be infructuous,” said Desai, adding that the creditors and other interested parties would be made to “run pillar to post to claim their money ”.

ED’s counsel, Singh, however clarified that the centre only becomes an administrator of the assets, according to the rules of the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, under which the ED wants to confiscate the properties.

But, Desai pointed out that the act doesn’t apply to Mallya. “The confiscation will be in retrospect. In general law, the properties of an accused are confiscated only after he is held guilty of the crime. Here, under this law, Mallya has not even been tried, not a single witness has been examined, and we are jumping to attach his properties,” Desai argued. “What if, tomorrow, Mallya is acquitted?”

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 23:39 IST

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