Enforcement Directorate today moved a special PMLA court in Mumbai seeking to declare liquor baron Vijay Mallya a proclaimed offender in connection with its money laundering probe against him in an alleged bank loan fraud case.
Officials said the agency has made a plea to the court to issue an order under Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and term him a proclaimed offender as Mallya has “multiple” arrest warrants pending against him including a non-bailable warrant (NBW) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
They said the court may pronounce its order on the Enforcement Directorate plea on June 13.
“There are multiple arrest warrants pending against Mallya in various cases like that of cheque bounce and he is also wanted in a money laundering case. The agency has briefed the court about the status of investigations in the case and the need to get Mallya join probe,” they said, adding the agency has moved the same anti-money laundering court in Mumbai in this regard which had earlier issued an NBW against him.
A person can be termed a proclaimed offender in a criminal case probe if the court has reasons to believe that the accused against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by it, has absconded or is concealing himself so that such warrant cannot be executed.
As per Section 82 of the CrPC, the court can publish a written proclamation requiring such an accused to appear at a specified place and at a specified time in not less than 30 days from the date of publishing of such a proclamation.
They said the agency also has the option to seek action under Section 83 of the CrPC (attachment of property of person absconding) if Mallya does not comply with proceedings initiated under Section 82.
Separately, the agency is also set to attach his properties worth about Rs 1,400 crore under PMLA.
ED has been wanting Mallya to join investigations “in person” in its PMLA probe against him and others in the Rs 900 crore alleged loan fraud of IDBI bank and has virtually exhausted all legal remedies like seeking an Interpol arrest warrant and getting his passport revoked.
It is also seeking to invoke the India-United Kingdom Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to extradite Mallya from Britain.
Mallya had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport.
The agency has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI.
ED is also investigating financial structure of Kingfisher Airlines and looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loans.