A court here has issued arrest warrants against fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya and 18 others for offences involving alleged fraud and concealment of material facts for inducing investments, on a complaint by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).
The court, in its recent order, issued arrest warrants against Mallya and others, taking cognizance of the offence punishable under Section 36, Section 448 and Section 447 of the Companies Act, 2013.
The arrest warrants are returnable by January 29.
Besides Mallya, the others against whom arrest warrants have been issued include a clutch of UB Group officials, including its Chief Financial Officer A.K. Ravi Nedungadi, Capt. G.R. Gopinath, promoter of Deccan Aviation Ltd till its merger with Kingfisher Aviation, Ashok Wadhwa of Ambit Private Ltd., and several chartered accountants associated with Kingfisher.
The Bengaluru court in its order said, "Cognizance is taken for the offence punishable under Section 36 read with section 448 and 447 of the Companies Act, 2013, and Section 68 read with Section 628 of the Companies Act, 1956."
The order further directed its office to "register Special Criminal Case against accused No. 1 to 19 for the above said offences in separate register, which is to be opened for the Special Court under the Companies Act, 2013".
"Issue Arrest Warrants against accused No. 1 to 19 for the above said offences. Returnable by 29.01.2018," said the order.
Mallya is accused number five. The grounded Kingfisher Airlines too is one of the 19 accused.
The court in its order said, "Considering the various allegations made in the complaint, the status of each of the accused under the Companies Act, 2013 and 1956, I hold that cognizance has to be taken directly and process has to be issued against each of the accused."
The order further said, "The offence under Section 36, 447 and 448 of the Companies Act, 2013, are punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than the amount involved in the fraud and even it may extend to three times the amount involved in the fraud."
Noting that in the "present case amount involved in the fraud is heavy", the court in its order said, "Therefore, Court feels that it is warrant case and instead of issuing summons, warrant has to be issued against all the accused."