SC seeks Centre’s response to Mallya’s petition against ‘fugitive’ tag

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to respond to liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s petition against the move to declare him a fugitive and confiscate his assets, but did not stay the proceedings.

Mallya approached the top court after the Bombay high court had on November 22 rejected his plea. Before that, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court had not accepted a similar petition.

The CBI, which investigates financial crimes, had initiated the proceedings against Mallya after two separate offences were registered against him in connection with huge loans taken for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, from a consortium of 12 banks led by the State Bank of India.

It had moved the special PMLA court invoking provisions of recently-enacted Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, seeking to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender.

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.

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