Calling troubled times for fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya, a special court has issued an open-dated non bailable warrant against him in a Rs 900 crore money laundering case. Special judge PR Bhavake passed the orders on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate.
With this, the path has been cleared for a red corner alert to be issued by Interpol against Mallya.
The court also rejected a plea made by Kingfisher Airlines Limited to not pass any coercive orders as sought by the ED against the founder of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
The airlines denied ED submission that Mallya had used IDBI bank loans worth Rs 430 crore to buy property abroad.
The court which in the morning session posted the matter to be heard post lunch heard both sides at length.
For the airlines, senior counsel Amit Desai along with Pranav Badheka said the airline officials were fully cooperating with the agency and they couldn’t be accused of being evasive or non-cooperative.
The counsels claimed that there is no material evidence to show that Mallya had misused the bank loan for buying any property abroad.
On Saturday, ED counsel Hiten Venegaonkar had concluded his arguments for issuance of a non-bailable warrant against Mallya who is at present reportedly in UK.
On Monday, the ED counsel again said Mallya must return to appear before the department as he has been summoned thrice in connection with a Rs 900 crore money laundering case concerning an IDBI bank loan. The ED counsel raised fears about the possibility of evidence being tampered.
No one had appeared for Kingisher or Mallya on Saturday.
The airlines in its plea, a copy on which TOI has access to, had said “it appears that the principal allegation made in the application by the ED is that the Enforcement Directorate has allegedly stumbled upon evidence that Rs 430 crore out of the money loaned by IBDI to Kingfisher Airlines Limited was allegedly transferred overseas for property acquisition by Vijay Mallya.”
The airlines, “vehemently denied” the allegations and sought to produce information to show how the ED was wrong.
It is “imperative for this Court to consider and take into account the information and relevant material that show how ED is wrong in suggesting that Mallya has used the loan amount for buying property before any coercive steps are ordered to be taken as prayed for by the Enforcement Directorate,” the airlines said in its plea.
“No funds disbursed to Kingfisher Airlines Limited by IDBI have been wrongly utilised or utilised for purposes other than legitimate business purposes/expenses of Kingfisher Airlines Limited or have been diverted in any manner by Vijay Mallya for his personal benefit or gain,” said the Airlines categorically.