A special PMLA court in Mumbai has declared absconding liquor baron now in exile in London 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.
Extradition is the only way to bring back liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India from the UK and the government is working on the necessary legal process, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said. “We are working on the due process of law to bring Mallya back to India,” Mr Sinha told reporters.
It may be recalled that Mallya had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport. The dipolatic passport was later cancelled. The latest PMLA court order could be step ahead to get Vijay Mallya extradited to India .