The Enforcement Directorate on Monday filed a chargesheet against businessman Vijay Mallya and two firms for money laundering, PTI reported, a day after news reports said that the agency would move a special court to have Mallya declared a fugitive under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance. The ordinance was promulgated in April and empowers the government to seize the assets of those declared fugitives by a competent court in economic offences.
Mallya is also accused of wilfully defaulting on about $1.4 billion (Rs 9,380 crore) in loans for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The agency filed its first chargesheet against him in June 2017 in the Rs 900-crore IDBI Bank-Kingfisher Airlines loan default case, and has attached assets worth Rs 9,890 crore in the case so far.
The 62-year-old businessman, who has been in the United Kingdom since March 2016, has refused to return to the country and is fighting a number of lawsuits in the two countries. He is also fighting the Central Bureau of Investigation’s attempts to extradite him. The Ministry of External Affairs submitted an extradition request in February 2017 after Mallya made his self-imposed exile clear. A UK court is hearing the Indian government’s plea.
On Friday, a court in the UK ordered Mallya to pay 13 Indian banks a minimum of Rs 1.8 crore in legal fees by July 5. In May, a UK court had ruled that he could be regarded as a “fugitive from justice”. The same month, Mallya lost a lawsuit filed by 13 Indian banks seeking to collect more than $1.55 billion (Rs 10,385 crore) from him.