New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the proceedings of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Vijay Mallya before the money laundering tribunal in Mumbai, just days before a UK court is set to rule on the UB Group chairman’s extradition to India.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, issued notice to the ED on the issue.
The ED had filed an application in July before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court seeking the “fugitive economic offender" tag for Mallya under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
It had also sought immediate confiscation of about ₹ 12,500 crore worth of assets.
Mallya had sought a stay on the hearing of the ED’s plea but this was rejected by the special court on 30 October. Mallya then challenged this in Bombay high court. On 22 November, the Bombay high court dismissed his plea seeking a stay on the ED’s request to declare him a fugitive economic offender and confiscate all his properties.
A division bench of Bombay high court comprising justices R.M. Savant and V.K. Jadhav rejected Mallya’s appeal and observed that the order of the special PMLA court was not appealable under the provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
Mallya then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. His lawyer, jurist Fali S. Nariman, opposed the court order saying it wasn’t maintainable.
This comes ahead of a UK court ruling on the United Breweries chairman’s extradition to India and two days after he offered to pay back “100% of the principal amount" he owes banks.
“I see the quick media narrative about my extradition decision. That is separate and will take its own legal course. The most important point is public money and I am offering to pay 100% back. I humbly request banks and government to take it. If payback is refused, why?" Mallya said in the first of a series of tweets on Wednesday morning.
Mallya, whose extradition case ruling will be delivered on 10 December, said Kingfisher Airlines floundered because of rising prices of air turbine fuel.