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HC rejects Mallya’s plea for stay on ED’s request to declare him fugitive

The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea filed by beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya seeking a stay on a request made by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to declare him a fugitive economic offender and confiscate his properties.

The ED had filed an application before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court seeking the ‘fugitive’ tag for Mallya under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018.

Under the provisions of the Act, once a person is declared a fugitive economic offender, then the prosecuting agency has the powers to confiscate the accused persons’ properties.

Mallya had filed an application in the lower court seeking a stay on the hearing on the ED’s plea till November 26 when the appellate tribunal functioning under the PMLA would hear matters filed by a consortium of banks seeking their dues back.

The special court had on October 30 rejected Mallya’s application, following which the liquor baron had approached the high court.

Mallya’s counsel Amit Desai on Thursday told a division bench of Justices R M Savant and V K Jadhav that his pleas should not be misunderstood as a ploy to run away from the proceedings.

The high court, however, said it was not inclined to grant any relief.

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