Vastavam web: Beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya is listed to appear before a special court here today as part of the first action initiated against an absconding accused under the newly enacted fugitive economic offenders law. Official sources said while it is certain that Mallya may not appear in person as he is contesting an Indian extradition case in London, it is expected that his authorised legal representative may submit a reply to the court of special PMLA judge M S Azmi as part of his official response to the notice.
They had earlier indicated that if Mallya does not appear before the court, he runs a risk of being declared a fugitive economic offender, besides orders being issued for properties linked to him being confiscated. The same court had earlier issued non-bailable warrants against the businessman in two cases filed by the ED. Mallya, his now defunct venture Kingfisher Airlines Limited and others availed loans from various banks and the outstanding amount, including interest, against him is Rs 9,990.07 crore at present, the officials had said while filing the plea under the new law. Mallya, in the past, has said that he has become the “poster boy” of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger.
“I have been accused by politicians and the media alike of having stolen and run away with Rs 9,000 crores that was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). Some of the lending banks have also labelled me a wilful defaulter,” he said. The ED has furnished evidences in its two charge sheets, filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the past, to make a case for seeking a fugitive offender tag for Mallya from the court.