The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday filed a chargesheet against fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya and 11 others for misappropriating a Rs 900-crore loan granted by IDBI Bank to Kingfisher Airlines. The agency has sought the judicial custody of the accused, saying may tamper with evidence or flee the country, reported Mint.
The CBI inquiry was initiated after IDBI Bank lodged a complaint, accusing Mallya of willfully defaulting on loan, reported The Indian Express. Investigators alleged that IDBI Bank approved loans to Kingfisher Airlines while its officials expedited the ratings process for the now-defunct carrier. The loan was sanctioned even though it was in violation of credit limit norms.
The filing of the chargesheet may now allow India to start a formal extradition process, according to Reuters. Mallya, who left India on March 2 last year, had claimed that he was unable to return because the External Affairs Ministry had suspended his passport. The Centre, however, had countered his argument, saying Mallya could have easily applied for an Emergency Certificate at an Indian Embassy or High Commission. India had pressed for Mallya’s extradition during British Prime Minister Theresa May’s three-day visit to the country.
The CBI chargesheet came a day after the arrest of former IDBI Bank chairman Yogesh Aggarwal and seven others – including three each from Kingfisher Airlines and the bank – in connection with the case. Former chief financial officer of Kingfisher Airlines, A Raghunathan, was also arrested by the CBI. The agency also carried out raids at Mallya’s Delhi home, three floors of the United Breweries towers in Bengaluru and Raghunathan’s home.
Besides, the CBI is planning to declare Mallya, who fled to the United Kingdom on March 2, 2016, a “proclaimed offender”, The Times of India reported. This will allow the agency to attach his properties under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.