ED issues third summon to Mallya
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday issued the third and possibly the last summon 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.
Meanwhile, the service tax department will “very shortly” auction liquor baron’s aircraft to recover dues estimated at nearly Rs 535 crore, a senior finance ministry official on Saturday said. “Vijay Mallya’s some of the properties have been attached. His aircraft are with us. So, that is what we are going to auction very shortly,” Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chairman Najib Shah said at a press meet. Last month, the service tax department had claimed in a petition to the Bombay High Court that Mallya’s total disputed liability in respect of service tax was to the tune of Rs 535 crore.
Official sources stated that the investigating officer (IO) at ED’s Mumbai office on Saturday issued fresh summon 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 summon to Mallya as the IO had allowed his plea to postpone his appearance till now, both on technical and legal grounds.
They said, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), usually a maximum of three summon 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. 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.