Indian court declares tycoon Vijay Mallya economic offender

Indian court declares tycoon Vijay Mallya economic offender

Indian court declares tycoon Vijay Mallya economic offender

Mallya, accused of defaulting on loan repayments and money laundering, is the first businessman to be declared an FEO under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act which came into existence in August previous year.

With this declaration he has become the first businessman to be tagged so under the F 2018.

The new law to catch people who flee overseas after committing financial crimes was signed by the President in August past year.

A day after an anti-corruption court declared liquor baron Vijay Mallya as a fugitive economic offender (FEO), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said that the development shows the commitment of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government. It was aimed at stopping a growing number of high-profile economic offenders feeling the country to avoid legal action.

Though, Mallya through his lawyers had told the court that he had not fled the country but had left to attend a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on March 4, 2016, at the World Motor Sport Council.

The government, he said, has also advised the public sector banks to obtain a certified copy of the passport of promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies availing loan facilities of more than Rs 50 crore.

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Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting on Rs. 9,000 crore in loans to his failed Kingfisher Airlines. Hearings on the second part of the ED's plea - confiscation of properties - will start on February 5. The Centre recently introduced the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance which was assented by the President.

Under the Act, a person can be declared a fugitive economic offender if a warrant has been issued against him for an offence involving an amount of at least Rs 100 crore and he has left the country and refuses to return.

Mallya's counsel requested court to stay its order till they file appeal in the high court. Now, his property would be confiscated.

An Indian court has declared a tycoon living in Britain a fugitive economic offender, a ruling that will allow authorities to confiscate his properties and assets. The Act defines "benami property" and assigns it the same meaning as provided under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988.

There is a stringent condition which bars an individual from putting forward or defending any civil claim once he has been declared a fugitive economic offender.

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