Indian Agency Set to Invoke Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance Against Mallya

The enforcement directorate has narrowed down several assets associated with Mallya in many nations like the United Kingdom, United States including others.


The Enforcement Directorate is soon going to request a special court to begin the procedures for getting liquor baron Vijay Mallya declared as an absconder under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, the Hindu reported.

The law permits seizing and disposing all the assets of fugitives in India and foreign nations. The agency has narrowed down several assets associated with Mallya in countries like the United Kingdom, United States, France, Scotland and South Africa. If proceedings against him under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance begin, it can result in such properties being confiscated.

The agency could move the application in one week, since almost all the paperwork required for the case has been done, according to the report. A charge sheet has already been filed by the ED against Mallya, against whom extradition proceedings are currently underway in a UK court. Mallya has also been declared a proclaimed offender.

According to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, once the court accepts the application, it can issue a notice, giving six weeks to the accused to appear before it. If the order is not complied with, the person is then declared a fugitive. The law can be invoked against people who are involved in economic offences that amount to at least Rs 100 crore.

The court could also seize the properties of the accused, after which all the rights and titles of these assets will be given to the central government. The court could also order disposal of the properties that have been confiscated.

So far, the ED has attached properties worth more than Rs 9,600 crore, as part of the proceedings against Mallya and some others as per the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the report said.

Mallya on May 8 lost a lawsuit that was filed in the United Kingdom by Indian banks looking to recover over £1.15 billion ($1.55 billion) from him. The lenders, including the State Bank of India and IDBI Bank Ltd., can enforce an Indian court ruling, which is linked to accusations that Mallya deliberately defaulted on around $1.4 billion in debt for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., Judge Andrew Henshaw said in London.

While presiding over the extradition hearing of Mallya at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on March 16, judge Emma Arbuthnot said that there were clear signs that the banks went against their own guidelines while sanctioning some loans to Mallya. She had described the case as a “jigsaw puzzle” comprising different pieces of “massive evidence” to be put together to paint a picture, which she said she could now see “more clearly” than a few months ago.

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