Update at 2:38 PM: The hearing in Special PMLA court on the confiscation of the properties of Vijay Mallya will be held on 5th February.
In a massive development, the Special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court on Saturday has declared liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya a 'fugitive economic offender'. With this order, the government has the right to confiscate his properties.
Furthermore, the Special PMLA Court has refused his application to stay the order to give him some time to appeal.
A court in the UK in December 2018 ordered that Absconding Vijay Mallya can be extradited to India to face fraud investigations. The liquor baron had been accused of defrauding Indian banks to a tune of Rs 9000 crore. During the hearing, Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot had found prima facie a case against Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
"There is clear evidence of dispersal and misapplication of the loan funds and I find a prima facie case the Dr Mallya was involved in a conspiracy to launder money," the ruling noted
However, Mallya had indicated that he plans to appeal the verdict in the High Court.
"My legal team will review the judgment in detail, consider various options and then I will decide going forward. There is a process ahead," he told reporters after the proceedings.
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss has been on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year. He contested his extradition on the grounds that the case against him is "politically motivated" and the loans he has been accused of defrauding on were sought to keep his now-defunct airline afloat.
As per recent PTI report, Vijay Mallya is set to face bankruptcy proceedings in the UK High Court this year after the attempt by a consortium of Indian banks to recoup unpaid debt worth nearly 1.145 billion pounds.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his first interview of 2019, ensured the return of economic offenders like Nirav Modi, Choksi and Vijay Mallya, emphasising on the issue of black money.
He said, "Why did they need to flee after all? Had there been governments like earlier, same dostana would have continued, lootna hai, looto, khana hai, khate chalo, they would have no need to flee then. They had to flee because they would have to adhere to the laws here. They have to return every penny."