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Vijay Mallya Becomes First Person to be declared ‘Fugitive Economic Offender’: Special PMLA Court

Absconding tycoon Vijay Mallya today became the first person to be declared a ‘fugitive economic offender’ under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018 by a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court in Mumbai. 

 

After hearing extensive arguments from Mallya’s lawyer and the ED counsel, special judge MS Azmi declared Mallya an offender under Section 12 of the Act. 

ED had filed an application before the court in November, requesting to declare Mallya, who is facing charges of financial irregularities, a fugitive under the Act. “It is only to aid the agency to bring somebody back to the country to face the law here,” the ED counsel had said. 

Though, Mallya through his lawyers had told the court that he had not fled the country but had left to attend a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on March 4, 2016, at the World Motor Sport Council. He had attended the meeting as part of the ‘ordinary course’ of his business activities, stating that the warrant in the criminal offence against him was only issued subsequently.  

Under the provisions of the Act, a Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution. Once the person is declared a fugitive economic offender, the prosecuting agency has the powers to confiscate his properties.  

Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting on Rs. 9,000 crore in loans to his failed Kingfisher Airlines.  

He was arrested in the UK last year and immediately granted bail. The Westminster’s court in the United Kingdom last month said Mallya can be extradited to India to face fraud investigations. 

However, the court will hear the arguments on the confiscation of Mallya’s properties on February 5. 



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Krishi Jagran