Mallya declared fugitive economic offender

BJP sees court order as a feather in Govt’s cap in fight against corruption, Cong hits back
Report by: 
5 Jan 2019

A special court in Mumbai today declared absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya a fugitive economic offender (FEO) on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Mallya has become the first businessman to be declared an FEO under the provisions of the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Act which came into existence in August last year. The ED had requested the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court that Mallya, who is currently in the UK, be declared a fugitive and his properties be confiscated and brought under the control of the Union government as per the provisions of the new FEO Act. Special judge MS Azmi declared Mallya an FEO under Section 12 of the Act after hearing extensive arguments from the lawyer of Mallya and the ED counsel. Mallya, accused of defaulting on loan repayments and money laundering, had left India in March 2016. Reacting to the court order, The ruling BJP today said the absconding Vijay Mallya being declared a fugitive economic offender by a Mumbai court has come as a feather in the ruling party's cap in its fight against corruption.
Speaking at a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the law was brought in by the present NDA government to ensure that absconders like Mallya are brought to justice. "Mallya grew under the patronage of the Congress government. Despite him being bankrupt, he was given loans and his loans were even restructured. He fled with Rs 9,000 crore of the country's money. "It is a feather in the cap for BJP's fight against corruption," Patra said. The Congress today hit back at the BJP over its claim that it had acted against economic offenders such as Vijay Mallya, saying its government is claiming credit for everything as if those happened after it assumed office in 2014.
In response to a question while speaking at a press conference, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said that going by the BJP's "credit seeking" claims, India would be celebrating its fifth birthday on May 26, 2019. The party leader also alleged that Mallya met Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and sought his permission before fleeing the country. "If BJP is taking credit for declaring Mallya a FEO (fugitive economic offender), then let them take credit as they are taking credit for everything from Mangalyaan, Chandrayan, Pokhran one to Pokhran 2 (nuclear tests)...we should be celebrating India's 5th birthday on May 26, 2019. BJP feels that everything happened after its government came to power in 2014," he said. (PTI)