Mallya declared as absconder in FERA case

New Delhi:  A court here on Thursday declared liquor baron Vijay Mallya as an absconder in a case relating to alleged violation of foreign exchange rules.

“Keeping in view the submissions made and the fact that accused Vijay Mallya failed to appear before this court despite lapse of more than 30 days and no representation has been made on his behalf, accused Vijay Mallya is declared as proclaimed offender in the present case,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat said.

The court order came after Special Public Prosecutor N.K. Matta told the court that the proclamation had been published in local newspapers in English and Kannada.

It has been further submitted that over 30 days had passed but the accused failed to appear before the court.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in November 2017 moved an application seeking to initiate proceedings to declare Mallya as a proclaimed offender in the case over alleged violation of foreign exchange rules.

The court was hearing the final arguments in the 2000 case relating to reported violation by Mallya of the provisions of erstwhile Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) in arranging funds to advertise his company’s liquor products abroad.

On July 9, 2016, the court had asked Mallya to personally appear before it on September 9, after allowing the ED plea to withdraw the exemption given to him from personal appearance in the case.

Earlier, the court had allowed the Directorate plea to seek recall of a court order that granted permanent exemption from appearance to Mallya, who faces money laundering charges in India.

According to the ED, Mallya allegedly 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.

The agency had claimed that the money was allegedly paid without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India, in violation of the FERA norms.

Mallya was summoned and tried in the case. He was granted exemption from personal appearance by the Delhi court on December 20, 2000.