Vijay Mallya looks to rid self of Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance
Fugitive business tycoon and liquor baron Vijay Mallya today refuted allegations of attempting a plea bargain, levied by an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official. The official had said that Vijay Mallya’s recent offer, to pay all his dues if his seized assets were freed, is not an option.
Refuting the ED official, Mallya tweeted: “Media reports quote an ED official stating that I am attempting a plea bargain. Would respectfully suggest that the official read the ED charge sheet first.”
In the further tightening of the noose around Vijay Mallya, special PMLA court has summoned the businessman on August 27 under the newly promulgated economic offenders’ ordinance.
The move comes at a time when Mallya has expressed his desire to pay back the pending bank loans saying that he is trying to negotiate with the consortium of banks in good faith. He has also taken strong offence to be called fugitive saying he is willing to pay back the money by selling his assets.
Also Read:Vijay Mallya undermining Enforcement Directorate orders, tries to mediate through PM
According to a report in the Economic Times, the ED official had dismissed Vijay Mallya’s offer calling it “an attempt at plea bargaining and a bid to bolster his case against extradition to India from Britain.”
In the tweeted posted by Mallya this morning, he also wrote, “I would invite the ED to advance the same plea bargain theory in Court in front of whom I have placed my assets.
The ED official further claimed that the investigative agency had not received any copy of the affidavit filed by Mallya and United Breweries Holdings (UBH) before the Karnataka High Court last week, contrary to the businessman’s claims.
Also Read:Vijay Mallya: ED moves court to seize assets worth Rs. 12, 500 crore
Less than a week ago, Mallya broke his silence over the controversy surrounding him of defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crores.
The liquor baron in a series of tweets claimed that he had been falsely framed as the “poster boy of Bank default and a lightning rod of public anger”.
He also reiterated that he is making every effort, in good faith to settle dues with the banks, but if politically-motivated factors interfere, there is nothing he can do. In the letter, he mentioned that he had been made the “poster boy” of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger.
He said, “I have been accused by politicians and the media alike of having stolen and run away with Rs 9,000 crores that was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). Some of the lending Banks have also labelled me a wilful defaulter”.
According to the letter, Mallya also agreed to settle the dues of Indian banks.
Media reports quote an ED official stating that I am attempting a plea bargain. Would respectfully suggest that the official read the ED charge sheet first. I would invite the ED to advance the same plea bargain theory in Court in front of whom I have placed my assets.
— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) June 30, 2018
“I respectfully say that I have made and continue to make every effort, in good faith to settle with the Public Sector Banks. If politically motivated extraneous factors interfere, there is nothing that I can do,” he said.
The government brought the fugitive ordinance as “there have been instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of Indian courts, anticipating the commencement, or during the pendency, of criminal proceedings.” The agency charged in its application that Mallya “had no intention to repay the loans from the start and though he and UBHL (United Breweries Holdings Limited) had substantial assets that were sufficient to repay the loans, they intentionally withheld the details from the banks.” It alleged that a “criminal conspiracy was hatched from inception” by Mallya and his firms to obtain loans in “gross violation” of established procedures.
“The investigation under PMLA also revealed several instances of diversion of funds at the behest and for the benefit of Mallya through Ms Kingfisher Airlines,” it said. The agency said it has attached assets worth over Rs 8,040 crore of Mallya and others under the PMLA in the past.
Two criminal complaints were filed by the ED in these instances after taking cognizance of CBI FIRs. Mallya is contesting the money laundering charges in London as part of India’s efforts to extradite him from there and face the legal system here in connection with an alleged loan default of over Rs 9,000 crore of various banks. As per the existing process of law under the PMLA, the ED could confiscate the assets only after the trial in a case finishes which usually takes many years.