Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PLA) court has said that it will pronounce order on non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Vijay Mallya on April 18.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday had sought a non-bailable warrant of arrest against him.
The MEA on the same day had also suspended the passport of Mallya after he failed to appear before the investigating authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which is "tantamount to wilful non-compliance of the legal process".
Mallya's passport was suspended under Section 10[A] of the Passport Act. The MEA also issued a show-cause notice to the UB Group chairman, seeking his explanation as to why his passport should not be revoked under Section 10  of the Passport Act.
Mallya, who had refused to appear before the ED on three occasions when summoned between Mar 10 and April 2, had left the country on March 2 the day the consortium of 13 banks that had lent him money had closed in on him by moving the Debt Recovery Tribunal.
Earlier the consortium had rejected his offer of paying an initial instalment of Rs.4,000 crore and settling the rest of the amount later.
Failing to respond to the ED summonses, Mallya had repeatedly sought fresh dates but the agency declined any further relief.
It was noted that despite summons by ED to Mallya to join investigations on March 10 and 15 as also April 2, he was deliberately avoiding his personal appearance, which is a statutory requirement before the agency, in defiance of due procedures.
Several aspects of irregularities and criminal misconduct allegedly committed by Mallya including his role in the offence of money laundering have come to surface, the sources said, adding that they are under investigation by multiple agencies.
Thus, his failure to appear before the investigating authority under Prevention of Money Laundering Act is tantamount to wilful non-compliance and intended to deliberately scuttle the process of investigation.
Against this background, the ED moved the MEA for revocation of his passport. The sources said the government is committed to brining to book wilful defaulters and to recover public money from them.
While the loans issue is being investigated by CBI on charges of criminal misappropriation, criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office is probing violations under the Companies Act and the ED under PMLA.