Vijay Mallya pictured with girlfriend Pinky Lalwani. Photograph:( WION )
A special court here today fixed September 3 as the next date of hearing in the Vijay Mallya fugitive economic offender declaration case as some other parties have sought to implead themselves in the matter pertaining to the alleged default of over Rs 9,000 crore bank loans, officials said.
Officials said at least five parties, including a family member of Mallya, has sought court documents with regard to the ED seeking to get declared the businessman a fugitive economic offender under the new law and hence the court posted the matter for the next week.
The next date for the hearing in the case is September 3, as ordered by the court of special PMLA judge M S Azmi, they said.
A counsel for Mallya also appeared in the court today, as per the scheduled date of hearing, and sought some documents, they said.
The same court, on June 30, had issued a notice to Mallya to appear before it on August 27 after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) charged the liquor baron under the new law as it enlarged its money laundering probe against him and others in a RS 9,000 alleged bank fraud case. The central probe agency has also sought immediate confiscation of assets worth about Rs 12,500 crore of Mallya as part of this latest action. The court had earlier issued non-bailable warrants against the businessman in two cases filed by the ED.
Mallya, his now-defunct venture Kingfisher Airlines Limited and others availed loans from various banks and the outstanding amount, including interest, against him, is Rs 9,990.07 crore at present, the officials had said while filing the plea under the new law.
The businessman is currently contesting his extradition case in London filed by the Indian government on behalf of the CBI and ED. Mallya, in the past, has said that he has become the “poster boy” of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger.
“I have been accused by politicians and the media alike of having stolen and run away with Rs 9,000 crores that were loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). Some of the lending banks have also labelled me a wilful defaulter,” he said. The ED has furnished evidence in its two charge sheets, filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the past, to make a case for seeking a fugitive offender tag for Mallya from the court.
He is currently contesting the money laundering charges in London after India initiated extradition proceedings to bring him back to the country.  Both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have filed cases for alleged loan default against him. Modi government brought the new law as “there have been instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of Indian courts, anticipating the commencement, or during the pendency, of criminal proceedings”.
The law has provisions for special courts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to declare a person as a fugitive economic offender and order immediate confiscation of assets. A fugitive economic offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution,” the government had said.
The cases of frauds, cheque dishonour or loan default of over Rs 100 crore would come under the ambit of the ordinance.