Saturday, June 30, 2018

Vijay Mallya Dares ED to Place ‘Theory’ Before Court

Vijay Mallya Dares ED to Place ‘Theory’ Before Court

New Delhi: Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Saturday, 30th June 2018 refuted claims of a “plea bargain” made by an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official, daring the agency to place the “theory” before court.

“Media reports quote an ED official stating that I am attempting a plea bargain. Would respectfully suggest that the official read the ED charge sheet first. I would invite the ED to advance the same plea bargain theory in Court in front of whom I have placed my assets (sic),” Mallya said in a tweet.

The tycoon, who fled to the UK in March 2016 after being accused of defaulting on bank loans worth Rs 9,000 crore, was reacting to a report in the Economic Times, which quoted an ED official as saying that Mallya was offering a “plea bargain, which will not work in our country.”

“Mallya is offering a plea bargain, which will not work in our country, by trying to say he intends to repay banks and that he should be allowed to sell his assets. The matter is now in the hands of the court and it is no longer in our jurisdiction to do anything… We will follow the regular course of action unless there is a specific directive to release the shares and assets which seems unlikely,” Economic Times quoted the official as saying.

Speaking after "two years of silence" over the controversy surrounding him in the Kingfisher Airlines loan default case, Mallya had on June 26 denied that he was a ‘wilful defaulter’.

Mallya said that he has become the "Poster Boy" of bank default and a lightning rod of public anger, and there's nothing he could do "if politically motivated extraneous factors interfere" with his efforts to settle the dues.

Tired of "relentless pursuit" of him by "the government and its criminal agencies", Mallya had claimed he had written letters to both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on April 15, 2016 to explain his side of the story. "No response was received from either of them," he said in the statement, seeking to state 'factual position' in response to the controversy surrounding him.

He claimed that he made two settlement offers to the banks when proceedings were filed by them in the Supreme Court on March 29, 2016 and April 6, 2016 but both the offers were rejected by the banks.

Currently, undergoing an extradition trial in a UK court over fraud and money laundering charges by Indian authorities, the liquor baron said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) have filed charge sheets against him "with various untenable and blatantly false allegations acting at the behest of the government and
lending banks".

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