Vijay Mallya, the embattled billionaire, has been declared as a fugitive economic offender by a Special Court in Mumbai on Saturday. Now, the Indian government will be able to confiscate Mallya’s properties. Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court announced its verdict on the Enforcement Directorate’s plea. The order, which was scheduled to be pronounced on December 26, 2018, had been adjourned till January 5 as the judge was not ready with his ruling. “This law will help the agency confiscate all properties of Vijay Mallya whether they are within the proceeds of crime or outside and will be disposed off. This will be an added advantage for extradition matter which is pending before the UK ministry,” India Today quoted ED counsel Hiten Venegaonkar as saying.
Under the Section 2F of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, people who have fled the country after committing the crime and have refused to face the trial or those against whom non-bailable warrants (NBA) have been issued but can’t be executed as they are not in the country, could be declared a 'fugitive economic offender'.
Business tycoon Vijay Mallya is absconding the country in a loan default case. He is accused of defrauding Indian banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. He fled the country on March 2, 2016 after banks initiated legal proceedings to recover the outstanding loan amount. For the last two and half years, he has been residing in the UK.
Recently, he lost an extradition case filed by India. On December 11, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London had pronounced its verdict in the case and ordered authorities to extradite Vijay Mallya to India to face the trail.
The liquor tycoon has long been pleading before the Indian authorities to accept his payback offer. Days before the extradition case verdict, Mallya had requested banks to accept his offer, saying that he contributed thousands of crores to the State exchequers through his alcoholic beverage group and now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
“For three decades running India’s largest alcoholic beverage group, we contributed thousands of crores to the State exchequers. Kingfisher Airlines also contributed handsomely to the States. Sad loss of the finest Airline but still I offer to pay Banks so no loss. Please take it,” he had said.