Troubles for United Breweries chairman Vijay Mallya are far from over as two Delhi courts on Friday issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against him for evading summons in a FERA violation and a 2012 cheque bounce case.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass while warning him of initiating coercive process against him held that he was ‘deliberately evading courts summon order and stalling proceedings’.
The CMM said that the liquor baron’s plea that he wanted to return to India but was “incapacitated” to travel as his passport had been revoked by Indian authorities was “malafide” and “abuse of the process of law.”
“He has no inclination whatsoever to come to this court and appear here… He has scant regard for the law of the land,” the court said.
“Keeping in view the conduct of the accused, coercive process has to be directed against the accused. Issue non-bailable warrant against the accused. Put up the matter for December 22,” the court said.
The CMM further said that on October 4 it had specifically noted that he could approach authorities and obtain emergency document to return to India but the situation is that he has not taken any such step. “It appears that accused is not willing to take any steps to return to India,” the judge added.
Meanwhile, another NBW was issued against Mallya on Friday in a 2012 cheque bounce case following his non-appearance before it. He has been summoned on a plea by Delhi International Airport which claimed that a cheque of R1 crore issued by defunct Kingfisher Airlines had bounced due to insufficient funds.
Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand passed the order with the direction that NBW be executed through ministry of external affairs as the liquor baron is reportedly in London.
“Keeping Mallya’s conduct in mind, he has stunned the process of law, has no intention to come back to India and is abusing the process of law.” he added.
Earlier in September, Mallya in a 1995 money laundering case had sought exemption from personal appearance and had after expressed his inability to return to the country and face trial as his passport was suspended by Indian authorities.
The court was hearing the final arguments in the 2000 case related to alleged violation by Mallya of provisions of the erstwhile Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) in arranging funds to advertise his company’s liquor products abroad.
Mallya has been summoned on four previous occasions for questioning in connection with a contract signed in December 1995 with London-based firm Benetton Formula for promotion of the Kingfisher brand abroad.
According to the Enforcement Directorate, Mallya had allegedly paid $200,000 to a British firm for displaying the Kingfisher logo in the Formula One World Championships in London and some European countries in 1996, 1997 and 1998. It had claimed that the money was allegedly paid without prior approval from RBI in violation of FERA norms.