Mumbai: Fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya will move the Bombay high court to stop the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from attaching his properties, his lawyer said after a special court on Tuesday rejected his plea in this matter. Judge M.S. Azmi of the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court rejected Mallya’s petition in an oral order and posted the hearing for ED’s plea to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender (FEO) on 22 November.

“We would like to appeal this order in the Bombay high court," said Amit Desai, senior counsel for Mallya. “Since we are challenging the order and there is a court vacation in between, we are just requesting a reasonable time from the court."

D.P. Singh, counsel for the ED argued that Mallya has got enough time even after the order to challenge it in the high court. Mallya filed an application last week before the court stating the properties mentioned in the ED plea are also included in an appeal before the PMLA Appellate Tribunal involving the State Bank of India and 11 other banks. Last week, Mallya’s lawyer argued there will be chaos if the ED is allowed to confiscate these properties while other forums are also hearing claims on them.

The court had on 30 June issued a notice to Mallya to appear before it on 27 August after the ED enlarged its money laundering probe against him and others over a bid by a consortium of banks to recover dues worth 9,000 crore.

The ED has also sought immediate confiscation of about 12,500 crore worth of assets, of which it has already taken possession of assets worth over 8,050 crore.

In June, the UK commercial court ruled in favour of a consortium of 13 Indian banks seeking to recover dues allegedly owed to them by Mallya.

The court, part of the high court in London, also granted permission to an enforcement officer to enter the 62-year-old tycoon’s properties in Hertfordshire, near London.

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