New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to respond to liquor baron Vijay Mallya petition against the move to declare him a fugitive and confiscate his assets but did not stay the proceedings.
Mallya approached the top court this week after the Bombay high court rejected his plea to halt proceedings on November 22.
The matter was brought before a Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who issued a notice to the ED on the issue.
Lawyer Fail S. Nariman appearing for Mallya opposed the Bombay High Court order, saying that it wasn’t maintainable.
The ED had filed an application in July before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court seeking the “fugitive economic offender” tag for Mallya under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018. It had also sought immediate confiscation of around Rs 12,500 crore worth of assets.
Mallya had sought a stay on hearing of ED’s plea, but it was rejected by the special court on 30 October. Mallya then challenged this in the Bombay High Court, which refused to interfere in the proceedings.
A division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising justices RM Savant and VK Jadhav rejected Vijay Mallya’s appeal and observed that the order of the special PMLA court was not appealable under provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
Days, before a UK court is set to rule on his bid to block his extradition to India, United Breweries chairman Vijay Mallya on 5 December, offered to pay back “100% of the principal amount” he owes banks.
“I see the quick media narrative about my extradition decision. That is separate and will take its own legal course. The most important point is public money and I am offering to pay 100% back. I humbly request the banks and government to take it. If payback is refused, why?” Mallya said in the first of a series of tweets on Wednesday morning.
Mallya also substantiated that the enormous money he borrowed from banks flew away in paying high aviation turbine fuel prices.
Mallya has made repeated offers in the last two day to Indian authorities to accept his settlement before the Karnataka High Court, ahead of Westminster magistrate’s court Monday’s verdict on India’s attempt to extradite him from the UK.
The businessman is facing extradition from the United Kingdom to India to face charges of financial irregularities running into thousands of crores. Mallya fled India in March 2016 even as a debt court in Bengaluru was set to act against him for defaulting on loans issued by several banks led by the state-owned State Bank of India.
Besides the extradition case, Mallya is also facing recovery action against his assets in the UK brought by 13 Indian banks and another mortgage recovery action by the UBS Bank against his house in central London.