Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A special PMLA court in Mumbai on Tuesday declared liquor baron Vijay Mallya a proclaimed offender in connection with its money laundering probe against him in an alleged bank loan fraud case.
The Enforcement Directorate had earlier made a plea to the court to issue an order under Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and term him a proclaimed offender as “multiple” arrest warrants pending against him including a non-bailable warrant (NBW) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
A person can be termed a proclaimed offender in a criminal case probe if the court has reasons to believe that the accused against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by it, has absconded or is concealing himself so that such warrant cannot be executed.
As per Section 82 of the CrPC, the court can publish a written proclamation requiring such an accused to appear at a specified place and at a specified time in not less than 30 days from the date of publishing of such a proclamation.
ED has been wanting Mallya to join investigations "in person" in its PMLA probe against him and others in the Rs 900 crore alleged loan fraud of IDBI bank and has virtually exhausted all legal remedies like seeking an Interpol arrest warrant and getting his passport revoked.
It is also seeking to invoke the India-United Kingdom Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to extradite Mallya from Britain.
Mallya had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport.
The agency has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI.
ED is also investigating financial structure of Kingfisher Airlines and looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loans.