In more problem for fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya, a special PMLA court in Mumbai on Saturday summoned him to appear before it on August 27.
The PMLA court summoned Mallya after Enforcement Directorate filed a plea seeking action against him under the fugitive economic offenders ordinance in the over Rs 9,000 crore bank fraud case.
This is the first instance when action has been initiated under the new ordinance that was recently promulgated by the Modi government to deal with fugitive bank loan defaulters.
Special judge M S Azmi, dealing with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases, issued the notice to Mallya after taking cognisance of the second ED charge sheet filed against him recently and a subsequent application by it on June 22 seeking a fugitive economic offenders tag.
The ED has also sought immediate confiscation of assets worth around Rs 12,500 crore of Mallya and other fugitive economic offenders, they said.
If Mallya does not appear before the court, he risks being declared a fugitive economic offender, besides properties linked to him being confiscated.
The court had earlier issued non-bailable warrants against the beleaguered businessman in the two cases filed by the ED.
Mallya, his now defunct venture Kingfisher Airlines Limited and others availed loans from various banks during the tenure of the UPA-I government and the outstanding amount, including interest, against him is Rs 9,990.07 crore at present, the officials said.
Mallya had recently said that he has become the “poster boy” of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger.
He said he had written letters to both the prime minister and the finance minister on April 15, 2016 to explain his side of the story.
“No response was received from either of them,” Mallya, who is based in London, had said in a statement.
“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.
Mallya is contesting the money laundering charges in London after India initiated extradition proceedings against the liquor baron to bring him back to the country.
Both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have filed cases for alleged loan default against him.