Mumbai: The chief metropolitan magistrate court of Mumbai on Saturday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against promoter of the now-defunct airline Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, Vijay Mallya, and its chief executive Sanjay Agarwal in a case filed by the service tax department.
The case was regarding service tax evasion to the tune of Rs.1,000 crore.
This would be the second warrant against Mallya. A money laundering court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in April this year and subsequently labelled him as a proclaimed offender in July on allegations of money laundering.
The magistrate court in an order passed on 18 July had directed that Mallya and Agarwal were required to be present for the court hearings in the service tax department case. However, Mallya’s counsel had filed an exemption plea.
On Saturday, the court dismissed the application of Mallya and Agarwal for a personal appearance and allowed the department to proceed with the non-bailable warrant proceedings.
Advait Sethna, special counsel appearing for the service tax department, briefed by Ruju Thakkar, in the case told Mint that the court observed that any attachment or sale of properties in this case do not exonerate Mallya and Agarwal from their criminal liabilities.
“Mallya was to have been present today as per the earlier directions of the court dated 18 July however his counsel stated that he doesn’t have travel documents,” said Sethna.
“Agarwal sought exemption on medical grounds. However, his application (medical certificate) stated that he only had a cough, which was not a strong reason for court to grant an exemption,” Sethna added.
The service tax department had approached the court in the case to recover the dues in the tune of around Rs.1,000 crores including interests. The service tax collected on ticket sales by KAL was not deposited to the tax authorities.
The revenue department was one of the first agencies to attach Mallya properties in the case. As early as 2014, the department had attached the Kingfisher House in Mumbai, six aircrafts and two helicopters, besides freezing bank accounts of the defunct airline.