The Delhi High Court on Wednesday told meat exporter Moin Qureshi not to behave like Vijay Mallya, and to return to India by November 22, PTI reported. The court’s directive came during the hearing of a plea filed by Qureshi seeking interim protection from arrest for 15 days.
The court turned down the plea and asked Qureshi to appear before the Enforcement Directorate for questioning in connection with a money laundering case. Qureshi is currently in Dubai. "Don't take the line of businessman Vijay Mallya. You have to first appear for questioning. You are not in India, this shows that you do not want to appear," Justice AK Pathak said. The court refused to grant any interim order in the case.
Former liquor baron Vijay Mallya had left the country on March 2 after banks moved court against him. He owes around Rs 9,000 crore to 17 banks in the country.
While dismissing Qureshi's petition, the court added, "To arrest you or not, is upon them [ED]... If you don't want any coercive steps against you, then go for an anticipatory bail." However, the court has stayed the lookout notice against him till November 16.
On October 16, Qureshi had given immigration authorities at Delhi airport the slip and flew to Dubai after furnishing a court order in a separate income tax case in which there was no restriction on him travelling abroad.
The Kanpur-based businessman has been investigated by both the Income Tax Department as well as the Enforcement Directorate. The ED had registered a case against him under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Qureshi in 2015. He is accused of tax evasion and stashing Rs 200 crore in Dubai, London and other cities in Europe.
The Income Tax Department had found that Qureshi had 11 bank lockers in the names of his employees and associates.