A special court in Mumbai declared businessman Vijay Mallya a fugitive economic offender on Saturday, ANI reported. He is the first person to get the tag after Parliament passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act last year to allow the seizure of domestic assets of such individuals.

The court will hear the Enforcement Directorate’s plea to seize Mallya’s assets on February 5.

On June 22, the Enforcement Directorate had moved the special court, which hears cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender and confiscate Rs 12,000-crore worth of his properties. The Bombay High Court and the special court rejected Mallya’s petitions against the agency’s request. Last month, the Supreme Court, too, refused to stay proceedings initiated by the Enforcement Directorate.

Mallya is accused of cheating banks of Rs 9,000 crore and is fighting a number of lawsuits in the United Kingdom and India related to fraud and money laundering allegations. He fled India and moved to London in March 2016, but a court there ordered his extradition to India last month.

Earlier, Mallya’s lawyer had told a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court that the businessman left India legally and cannot be declared a fugitive because he was arrested in the United Kingdom on the basis of a warrant issued against him by an Indian court.

Soon after the verdict, the Bharatiya Janata Party said the development was a feather in the cap for the ruling party, PTI reported. Spokesperson Sambit Patra said the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act was brought in by the government to ensure that absconders are brought to justice.

“Mallya grew under the patronage of the Congress government,” he said. “Despite him being bankrupt, he was given loans and his loans were even restructured. He fled with Rs 9,000 crore of the country’s money. [The verdict] is a feather in the cap for BJP’s fight against corruption.”

The Congress criticised the BJP for taking credit for the action against Mallya, PTI reported. Spokesperson Pawan Khera said: “If BJP is taking credit for declaring Mallya a fugitive economic offender, then let them take credit as they are taking credit for everything from Mangalyaan, Chandrayan, Pokhran 1 to Pokhran 2 [nuclear tests]...we should be celebrating India’s fifth birthday on May 26, 2019 [the day the BJP completes five years in power]. BJP feels that everything happened after its government came to power in 2014.”