A Delhi Magistrate Court on October 11, 2018 ordered attachment of liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s properties in Bangalore as per Section 83 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 (CrPC), in a case relating to Foreign Exchange Regulation Act,1973 (‘the FERA Act’) violations.
It was alleged that Vijay Mallya paid $200,000 to a British firm for displaying the Kingfisher logo in the Formula One World Championships in London and some European countries in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and that the money was paid without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India, in violation of Section 8(a) FERA norms.
He was summoned for questioning in connection with the above allegations. When Mallya failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a complaint was filed on March 8, 2000, before an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court in Delhi and charges were framed against him under the FERA Act. He was later declared a ‘proclaimed offender’ by the Court on January 4, 2018, for evading summons and absconding/concealing himself, in the FERA violation case as per Section 82 of the CrPC. When an arrest warrant is issued against a person for defaults like under FERA, Section 82 is added to put additional pressure upon the person against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued, by depriving him of his property.
- Until now the police had failed to attach properties in Bangalore belonging to Mallya because those were already attached by the ED of Mumbai Zone and remaining assets were part of the liquidation. Such attachment in an independent case (apart from the Kingfisher loan default case against Mallya) entails in building pressure on expediting the sacked businessman’s extradition proceedings from the UK.
- Attachment of property is a common practice followed by EDs with respect to absconding economic offenders. The ED also attached Nirav Modi’s properties worth Rupees 150 crore in light of his Punjab National Bank loan default.
- The property after being attached is at the disposal of the Government and the Government can either sell the property or dispose the same in any manner or keep it in its possession