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Vijay Mallya’s stepmother, others move court in PMLA case

Mallya is contesting his extradition case in London filed by the Indian government on behalf of the ED and CBI, who have cases against him for an alleged bank loan default of around ₹9,000 crore, including interest.

mumbai Updated: Aug 28, 2018 00:50 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
Vijay Mallya,stepmother,PMLA case
Vijay Mallya is contesting his extradition case in London filed by the Indian government. (Reuters)

On a day when liquor baron Vijay Mallya was asked to remain present in the Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, failing which he would be declared a fugitive offender under the new law, a host of entities filed applications to intervene in the proceedings, before any order was passed to confiscate properties worth ₹4,234.84 crore belonging to the beleaguered businessman. The entities include his stepmother Ritu Mallya, Heineken NV and the official liquidator appointed by Karnataka HC, among others.

Mallya is contesting his extradition case in London filed by the Indian government on behalf of the ED and CBI, who have cases against him for an alleged bank loan default of around ₹9,000 crore, including interest.

Apart from the intervention applications, Mallya made a representation in the court through his lawyer, Amit Desai, on Monday that although they had received a notice to appear before the court, the ED had not provided them with a copy of the complaint. “In absence of the copy, how can we submit a reply,” Desai argued. Responding to Desai, ED’s lawyer, Niti Punde, said there is no provision in the law to provide a copy of the complaint. However, to give both parties a fair hearing, the court directed the agency to supply a copy of the complaint to defence.

The ED has so far attached assets worth ₹4,234.84 crore, claiming these properties had direct or indirect connection with Mallya and his two companies, Kingfisher Airlines Limited (KAL) and United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL).

The court, however, has now fixed September 3 as the next date of hearing, after Ritu Mallya and many other companies approached the court stating that their properties were attached by the agency.

Mallya’s stepmother, through her lawyer Annapurna Bordoloi, filed an intervention application, claiming the ED had falsely attached 17% of shares of two companies that belonged to her. She has sought to be heard before the ED confiscates it. The official liquidator appointed by the Karnataka HC, too, approached the PMLA court. The liquidator was appointed to take over UBHL, after a single-judge bench of the Karnataka HC passed the order to wind up UBHL in 2017. This was done to recover the money owed to banks and others. Lakshmi Iyengar, counsel for the official liquidator, was directed by the Karnataka HC to appear and make submissions before the special court earlier this month.

The ED, meanwhile, pleaded that Mallya be directed not to create any third-party interest or alienate or sell any of the properties. The court asked the defence to file a reply on the ED’s plea and asked the agency to file a reply on the pleas of Ritu Mallya, official liquidator of the Karnataka HC and Heineken NV.

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 00:50 IST