April 2, 2016 4:36:20 pm
Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday issued the third and possibly the last summons to liquor baron Vijay Mallya to present himself before its investigators on April 9 in Mumbai in connection with money laundering probe in the over Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case.
Mallya had on Friday sought time till May to depose before the agency, expressing his inability to keep the scheduled date for Saturday at the ED’s zonal office in Mumbai.
Official sources said the investigating officer (IO) at ED’s Mumbai office Saturday issued fresh summons to the United Breweries (UB) group Chairman to personally appear before him on April 9.
ED officials hinted that this could possibly be the last summons to Mallya as the IO had allowed his plea to postpone his appearance till now, both on technical and legal grounds.
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They said, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), usually a maximum of three summons are sent and that would be completed by the fresh date on Saturday next.
They also added that the IO had turned down Mallya’s request for giving him time till May as his joining the probe was important and hence he only gave him a week’s time, till Saturday next.
It is understood that Mallya had Friday informed the IO that cases related to bank loans were currently subjudice in the Supreme Court and he was trying to settle these loans with the help of his legal and corporate team and, hence, would require some more time.
If he again fails to appear on April 9, sources said, the ED could initiate legal action for revoking his passport and also get a non-bailable warrant against him issued by a court.
Mallya was first summoned by the agency to ‘appear in person’ at its office in Mumbai on March 18 but he sought more time citing his prior engagements, following which the agency asked him to depose on April 2.
Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines Ltd (KFA) had on March 30 submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover a proposal for repayment of Rs 4,000 crore out of the loan amount of Rs 6,903 crore to a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India by September this year.
He is currently reported to be in the UK after he left India on March 2.
The UB group Chairman was first issued summons by ED under the provisions of PMLA to provide documents related to his personal investments and finances, Income Tax Returns for the last five years and his passport.
The ED had recently registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others, based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI. The agency is also investigating financial structure of the now defunct KFA and looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loan.
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