LONDON(PTI): Liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Thursday sought time till April for making a personal…
New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya who was supposed to appear before Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Mumbai on April 2 has decided not to do so. He has sought for an extension till May to present himself before the anti-money laundering agency pursuant to summons, issued by it in the IDBI bank loan default case.
The investigating officer of the case at ED’s Mumbai zonal office, officials said, has been informed by Mallya that he will not be able to keep the scheduled date of April 2 and that he should be given a fresh date, sometime in the month of May.
It is understood that Mallya has informed the IO that cases related to bank loans are currently ongoing in the Supreme Court and he is trying to settle these loans with the help of his legal and corporate team and, hence, would require some more time.
It is learnt that while ED is mulling options for its next action, it may not be “too keen” to accede to his request given the “gravity” of the PMLA case.
They said the IO has till now not got back to Mallya with his decision.
“His personal appearance is important to unravel the alleged irregularities reported to have been done in the IDBI loan fraud case. Money laundering offences probe are serious.
Also, under PMLA, the onus to prove not guilty is on the accused and not on the investigating agency,” sources said.
The agency, by and large, has two options, either to agree and issue him a third date or undertake steps to possibly take legal action for revoking his passport.
Mallya had already extended his date from March 18 to April 2.
ED had earlier issued summons to Mallya for “personal appearance” on March 18 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had recently registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on a CBI FIR registered last year. The agency is also investigating the overall financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and will look into any payment of kickbacks to secure loan.
The CBI had booked Mallya, the Chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, its Directors, former Chief Financial Officer of the airlines A Raghunathan and unknown officials of IDBI Bank in its FIR alleging that the loan was sanctioned in violation of norms regarding credit limits.
The ED is looking into the “proceeds of crime” that would have been generated using the slush funds of the alleged loan fraud. It is also probing if some of this amount was sent abroad illegally.
Mallya has recently favoured settlement and offered to repay Rs 4,000 crore to banks by September.
(With Inputs from PTI)