(Image source from: Thehindu.com)
ED To Declare Vijay Mallya A Proclaimed Offender:- For allegedly evading summons in a FERA violation case, a Delhi court on Wednesday started the process to declare beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya as a proclaimed offender.
It has now given him the last chance to appear before the court by 18 December. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was directed by Chief metropolitan magistrate Deepak Shehrawat, to take appropriate steps while initiating the process.
After ED’s special public prosecutor N. K. Matta informed it that the open-ended non- bailable warrant (NBW) issued earlier against Mallya has been returned as unexecuted, the order has been passed on by the court. And now, the agency has no other option but to start the process under Section 82 and 83 of CrPC.
The agency is likely to take various steps, including publishing in newspapers regarding the matter. On 12 April, an open-ended NBW had been issued by the court against the liquor baron. Unlike ‘NBW’, an ‘open-ended NBW’ does not carry a time limit for execution.
While issuing non-bailable warrant against Mallya, the court on November last year, had observed that he had no inclination to return and had scant regard for the law of the land. As he was facing proceedings in several cases, it had said that coercive process has to be initiated against liquor baron Mallya as he was evading appearance in those matters.
Mallya’s plea, was also held by the court. As per the plea, he wanted to return to India but as his passport had been revoked by Indian authorities, was “incapacitated” to travel. On 9 September, Mallya had submitted before the court that he wanted to come back to India. But, as his passport had been revoked, he was “incapacitated” to travel despite “best intentions”.
The exemption from personal appearance granted to Mallya was also cancelled by the court on July 9 and directed him to appear before it on 9 September. On ED’s complaint for evading summons issued by it, the exemption from personal appearance to Mallya was granted in December 2000.
In connection with alleged payment of $200,000 to a British firm for displaying Kingfisher logo in Formula One World Championships in London and some European countries in 1996, 1997 and 1998, the agency had issued summons to the businessman. Without prior approval from the RBI in violation of FERA norms, the money was allegedly paid claimed the agency.
ED had also sought issuance of non-bailable warrant against the Chairman of the defunct Kingfisher Airlines, in its plea against Mallya, to secure his presence in the ongoing trial of the case, which is at the final stage. In connection with a contract signed in December 1995 with London-based firm Benetton Formula Ltd, Mallya was summoned on four occasions for questioning, according to ED. The contract was signed for promotion of the Kingfisher brand abroad.
A complaint was filed on 8 March 2000 before a court, when Mallya failed to appear before ED in response to the summons, and under FERA later charges were framed against him.