An Indian court is expected to release its order on October 30 on a petition filed by business tycoon Vijay Mallya seeking to stay the proceedings started by the country’s law enforcement and economic intelligence agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) to declare him a fugitive economic offender (FEO).
The special court witnessed extensive arguments on Friday (26) by the lawyer representing Vijay Mallya and later adjourned its order for October 30.
Business tycoon, Mallya, accused of defaulting on loan repayments to the banks and money laundering, who moved out of India in 2016 and currently residing in the UK. The former Kingfisher Airlines head is fighting extradition to India in connection with alleged fraud cases.
In its petition, ED sought the special court that under the provisions of new FEO Act, Mallya who is currently in the UK be declared as FEO and his assets be confiscated and brought under the control of federal government.
Mallya’s lawyer requested the judge to refrain from hearing the ED’s petition at-least until November 26 under country’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Earlier, the Mallya’s lawyer informed the court that, the appellate tribunal against money laundering had asked the ED to maintain status quo in connection with the properties of Mallya until November 26, the next date of hearing before the tribunal.
According to the Indian law, passing any order by the court declaring Mallya as an FEO will automatically bring his assets under the federal government’s control, Mallya’s lawyer said.
This court order for the attachment of Mallya’s properties, merely declaring him as an FEO will mean that this special court’s ruling will be in a battle with the tribunal’s, Mallya’s lawyer noted.
Mallya’s lawyer has also argued that attaching Mallya’s assets under the new federal Act would deprive his lenders any chance to ensure that his assets are sold, and their proceeds used to recover the money they had lost.
Mallya’s lawyer added that his client was keen on ensuring that creditors were paid off.
Meanwhile, DP Singh, the advocate representing ED told the court that Mallya’s lawyer’s arguments were aimed only to ensure that the accused didn’t have to face any legal proceedings in India.
“He has no intention of repaying anyone, or, of ever coming back to India. He is using the pending extradition proceedings and his bail conditions imposed by an English court as mere excuses to avoid coming back to India,” Singh added.
The advocate further noted that declaring Mallya as an FEO is the only way to bring him back to India.
The ED in an argument against Mallya said that the court could first declare Mallya as an FEO and then it can wait for the tribunal’s legal proceedings for further more legal actions.