A Delhi court today asked liquor baron Vijay Mallya to file a proper reply to ED’s plea seeking to withdraw the exemption granted to him from personal appearance in a case lodged for allegedly evading summons in connection with purported violation of foreign exchange rules.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass passed the order after noting that the reply filed by the accused, through his lawyer, did not bear Mallya’s signatures. The court fixed the matter for May 28 for further hearing after his counsel said that papers having Mallya’s signature were awaited.
The court had in December 2000, allowed Mallya’s plea seeking permanent exemption from personal apperance.
ED’s application, filed through prosecutor N K Matta, had requested the court to direct the accused for his physical appearance in the case which is at its final stage.
ED has also sought issuance of non-bailable warrant against the Chairman of now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines to secure his presence in the ongoing trial of the case.
In his reply filed today through the lawyer, the accused has sought dismissal of the application filed by ED but the court did not accept the response due to lack of Mallya’s signature.
“The physical appearance of the accused is not required at the stage of final arguments since a duly authorised counsel on his behalf has been appearing before the court on each date of hearing,” the reply said.
“The accused has diligently complied with all the directions of this court. It is also evident from the record that there is neither any allegation against the accused for violating the directions of this court nor any misuse of the liberty granted by this court at any stage of trial.
“Therefore, the application filed by the complainant (ED) seeking physical appearance of the accused is completely misplaced, untenable and unsustainable in the eyes of law,” it said.
The court had issued notice to Mallya on ED’s plea which claimed that the accused was not joining the probe and the exepmtion granted to him must be recalled.