The total attachment made by the agency in this case has now shot up to Rs 8,041 crore as it had attached assets worth Rs 1,411 crore a few months back. This is one of the largest attachment of assets made by ED in a PMLA case till now.
An attachment of assets order under PMLA is aimed at depriving an accused the benefits from their ill-gotten wealth and also works to make absconding offenders join probe as their resources are choked.
Such an order can be appealed before the Adjudicating Authority of the said Act within a period of 180 days.
The agency has been wanting Mallya to join the investigation in these cases “in person” and has virtually exhausted all legal remedies like seeking an Interpol arrest warrant and getting his passport revoked.
Mallya had recently told a Delhi court that he wants to return to India but he is “incapacitated” to travel despite his “best intentions” as his passport has been revoked by the Indian authorities.
However, sources in the ED said Mallya or any other person whose passport has been revoked pending criminal investigations can approach the Indian High Commission or Embassy in the country they are in and get an “emergency or alternative travel document” issued in order to travel back.
“The provision is stipulated under Section 4 (2)(a) of the Passport Act which talks about issuance of an emergency certificate authorising a person to enter India. Mallya can well use this legal provision to come back to India and join the probe. He is wanted in a criminal probe of money laundering by the ED apart from one under the now repealed Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA),” they said.
Mallya, who is currently in London, through his counsel told the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass in a case lodged against him for allegedly evading summons in a FERA violation matter, that he was “making all efforts to have the revocation of passport set aside.”
“I request you (counsel) to kindly convey to the judge that I have the utmost respect for his authority and towards the judicial system of the country, in general.
“However, in the given circumstances, despite my best intentions to obey the order of the judge, I find myself incapacitated to travel to India, at this moment; even though I am making all the efforts to have the said revocation of my passport set aside,” Mallya’s email to his counsel said.
(With PTI inputs)