Setback for Vijay Mallya, Bombay HC rejects plea seeking protection from sale of assets

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Published: July 11, 2019 4:02:38 PM

The 62-year-old is wanted for wilful default of more Rs 9,000 crore loan from a number of banks in India.

Vijay Mallya, bombay high courtVijay Mallya

The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s plea seeking a stay on confiscation of his property by central agencies in connection with the ongoing cases related to loan repayment and money laundering against him. In his appeal, Mallya had requested that any order passed by the trial court on the confiscation of his property be subject to the final decision the High Court which is hearing the FEO case that has been against him. However, the court did not grant any interim relief on the plea.

In January, a special court in Mumbai declared the businessman as a fugitive economic offender (FEO) under provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. Mallya later went to the high court, challenging the provisions of the act which permit confiscation of assets and putting them under the control of the government. The now defunct Kingfisher Airlines owner told high court that by declaring him a fugitive economic offender and giving a green signal for attachment of his assets, the special court awarded him an “economic death penalty”.

The fugitive businessman filed another plea challenging the special court order that declared him an FEO which another division bench of the Bombay High Court was hearing.

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During the hearing, Mallya’s counsel argued that the FEO Act was “draconian” as it permitted the government to confiscate everything, without looking at whether a property was bought through the proceeds of a crime or not. His pleas were opposed Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) counsel D P Singh, who in his counter argument said that Act was not draconian.

The 62-year-old is wanted for wilful default of more Rs 9,000 crore loan from a number of banks in India. The businessman is He is facing a number of charges of money laundering, fraud, and violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

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