The ED on Wednesday urged a Delhi court to recall its earlier order granting permanent exemption from personal appearance to liquor baron Vijay Mallya in a case for allegedly evading summons issued by the agency in connection with purported violation of foreign exchange rules.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sumit Dass, who was hearing final arguments in the case, was told by Enforcement Directorate (ED’s) prosecutor N K Matta that he would file an appropriate application in this regard within a week.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on May 20.
During the hearing, Matta argued that court should recall its December 2000 order by which Mallya was granted permanent exemption from personal appearance as a PMLA court in Mumbai has recently issued an open-ended warrant against Mallya, chairman of now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines in connection with a money laundering case.
He said the exemption order was passed by the court and the present status is that Mallya has gone abroad and in such situation, he will file an application seeking cancellation of exemption granted to Mallya. Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who appeared for Mallya, said his client was earlier granted exemption from personal appearance on December 20, 2000 and he be exempted for today.
In the present case, the ED had alleged that Mallya had violated the provisions of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) in arranging funds to advertise his company’s liquor products abroad. ED had claimed that Mallya was summoned on four occasions for questioning in connection with a contract signed in December 1995 with London-based firm Benetton Formula Ltd for promotion of the Kingfisher brand abroad. When Mallya failed to appear before ED in response to the summons, a complaint was filed on March 8, 2000 before a court here and later on charge was framed against him under section 56 of FERA.
According to ED, Mallya had allegedly paid 200,000 dollars to the British firm for displaying Kingfisher logo in 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 RBI in violation of FERA norms.