New Delhi, May 10:
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved an application before a court here seeking recall of its order granting permanent exemption from appearance to liquor baron Vijay Mallya and requesting to issue non-bailable warrant against him in a case of alleged violation of foreign exchange rules.
ED’s public prosecutor N.K. Matta last week moved an application before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass apprising him that accused Mallya is evading summons in a separate money laundering case investigated against him by the directorate as he is reported to be out of country.
Matta also told the court that accused has failed to attend the proceedings of other money laundering cases and is reported to be in Britain.
“In view of the above, it is most respectfully prayed that this court may be pleased to withdraw the exemption given from the personal appearance of the accused and may be pleased to issue non-bailable warrant to secure the presence of the accused named above (Mallya), in the ongoing trial,” the ED said in its application.
After hearing ED’s submission, Magistrate Dass on Monday issued notice to Mallya’s counsel and sought his reply by May 20, said sources.
At present the court was hearing final argument in the 2000 case related to Mallya’s violation of the provisions of erstwhile Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) in arranging funds to advertise his company’s liquor products abroad.
According to ED, Mallya had allegedly paid $200,000 to a British firm for displaying Kingfisher logo in Formula One World Championships in London and some European countries in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The agency had claimed that the money was allegedly paid without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India in violation of FERA norms.
Mallya was summoned and was tried in the case. He was granted exemption from personal appearance by the Delhi court on December 20, 2000.
The ED has sought withdrawal of exemption granted to Mallya and court’s direction to remain him personally present in court on each and every date of final arguments of the case. (IANS)