New Delhi: In a double whammy, two non- bailable warrants (NBW) were on Friday issued against beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya in separate criminal cases by two courts here, observing that he neither has any regard for law, nor any intention to return to India.
One of the courts also said coercive steps could be taken against Mallya straight away as there was "no discernible inclination" on his part to submit to the jurisdiction of the court.
While one court issued arrest warrant against the liqour baron in a case of allegedly evading summons in a FERA violation matter registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the other judge issued NBW in a 2012 cheque bounce case lodged by the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL).
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass, who was hearing the ED case, said Mallya's plea that he was handicapped for want of passport and could not travel to India, "clearly and unequivocally" showed that it was "laced with malafide and an abuse of process of law".
"Keeping in view the conduct of the accused (Mallya) as demonstrated by previous orders and the present observation, it appears that the accused has no regard to the law of the land and has no intention to return.
"In these circumstances, I am of the opinion that coercive steps need to be taken against the accused. Issue NBW against the accused," CMM Dass said.
The court listed the matter for December 22 and directed the ED to execute the warrant.
In the cheque bounce case, Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand also issued a fresh NBW against Mallya as the earlier warrant could not be executed. The court directed Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs to execute it.
The trial court had summoned Mallya as accused following a complaint by DIAL, which operates the capital's IGI Airport, claiming that a cheque of Rs one crore issued by Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) on February 22, 2012 was returned to them a month later containing the remarks - "fund insufficient".
DIAL had filed four cases in June 2012 against Mallya over KFA's cheques totalling Rs 7.5 crore not being honoured. The grounded airline had issued the cheques towards payment for services availed by them at the IGI airport here.
While hearing the ED's case, the CMM said that on October four it had specifically noted that he could approach Indian authorities and obtain emergency travel document to return to the country by approaching the High Commission in London. He was also asked to take necessary action to comply with court's earlier directions to appear before it.