New Delhi: The BJP on Saturday said the absconding Vijay Mallya being declared a fugitive economic offender by a Mumbai court has come as a feather in the ruling party's cap in its fight against corruption.
Mallya, accused of defaulting on loan repayments and money laundering, is the first businessman to be declared an FEO under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act which came into existence in August last year.
Speaking at a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the law was brought in by the present NDA government to ensure that absconders like Mallya are brought to justice.
"Mallya grew under the patronage of the Congress government. Despite him being bankrupt, he was given loans and his loans were even restructured. He fled with Rs 9,000 crore of the country's money. It is a feather in the cap for BJP's fight against corruption," he said.
The ED had requested the Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Mumbai that Mallya, who is currently in the UK, be declared a fugitive and his properties be confiscated and brought under the control of the Union government.
Special judge M S Azmi declared Mallya an FEO under Section 12 of the Act after hearing extensive arguments from Mallya's lawyer and the ED counsel. Mallya had left India in March 2016.