Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Vijay Mallya declared fugitive under new offence law

Vijay Mallya declared fugitive under new offence law

New Delhi -Billionaire tycoon Vijay Mallya was declared a "fugitive economic offender" by an Indian court Saturday, the first businessman to be indicted under the country´s new anti-money laundering law.

Speaking to ANI, BJP national spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that the decision on Mallya is just a beginning and more offenders will be caught under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The Bombay High Court and the special court rejected Mallya's petitions against the agency's request. "After being declared fugitive offender, Mallya will have to come back and will have to face the law", he added. The move came in the wake of several alleged economic offenders like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya fleeing the country to avoid trial and prosecution.

Liqour baron, Vijay Mallaya has now been declared as the very first "fugitive economic offender", under new-anti-corruption law.

The Westminster Magistrates Court in London on December 10 a year ago ordered the extradition of Mallya to India, who is facing charges of loan default to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore.

The court said it would consider the second part of the application, on confiscation of properties, mentioned in the application when it hears the matter on February 5, when all intervenors in the case would be heard. The Westminster's court in the United Kingdom last month said Mallya can be extradited to India to face fraud investigations.

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"The application of the ED is partly allowed". They argued that he had surrendered before a court in London (during the hearing on his extradition case) and obtained bail, and therefore could not be called a fugitive. Mallya had also claimed that he had not fled the country on March 2, 2016, but had left for a meeting with various European entities to make a one-time settlement to the banks.

Mallya has said earlier that he had made an "unconditional offer" to an Indian court in a bid to settle the charges, but denies that was an admission of guilt.

Mallya had claimed during arguments on the ED plea that on the day he left the country, no criminal proceedings were initiated against him, and that the proceedings were being "abused by the Government of India to pursue a political vendetta" against him.

Mallya's financial dealings are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.

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