NEW DELHI: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was declared a “proclaimed offender” by a Mumbai special court in connection with an alleged money laundering case against him. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing into the alleged Rs 900 crore IDBI Bank loan default case.
The agency had moved the court to issue an order under Section 82 CrPC and term the liquor baron a proclaimed offender as he has “multiple” arrest warrants pending against him including a non-bailable warrant under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
“The ED application is allowed and proclamation is issued against Vijay Mallya,” ordered Special Judge P R Bhavke.
According to the agency, there are multiple arrest warrants pending against Mallya in various cases like that of cheque bounce and he is also wanted in a money laundering case.
The agency has told the court about the status of investigations in the case and the need to get Mallya to join the probe.
A person can be termed a proclaimed offender in a criminal case probe if the court has reasons to believe that the accused against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by it, has absconded or is concealing himself so that such a warrant cannot be executed. As per Section 82 of the CrPC, the court can publish a written proclamation, requiring such an accused to appear at a specified place and at a specified time in not less than 30 days from the date of publishing such a proclamation.
Officials said that the agency also has the option to seek action under Section 83 of the CrPC (attachment of property of person absconding) if Mallya does not comply with proceedings initiated under Section 82.
The ED has been waiting for Mallya to join investigations “in person” but he did not show up and forced the agency to seek Interpol help to issue an arrest warrant and get his passport revoked. Mallya had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport.
The agency has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others, based on an FIR registered last year.