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2 warrants out for Mallya, courts call for 'coercive action'

November 04, 2016 14:26 IST

Two non-bailable warrants were issued on Friday against Vijay Mallya, Chairman of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, by two courts in Delhi.

While one NBW was issued in a 2012 cheque bounce case following Mallya’s non-appearance, another was in a case of allegedly evading summons in a FERA violation matter.

In the cheque-bouncing case, metropolitan magistrate Sumeet Anand passed the order with the direction that the NBW be executed through the ministry of external affairs as the liquor baron was reportedly in London.

The court then listed the matter for further hearing on February 4 next year.

The court had, on August 6, also issued an NBW against Mallya saying that coercive steps were required to ensure his appearance before the court.

The court had earlier noted that despite repeated orders, Mallya did not appear in the court and it was inevitable for the state machinery to intervene and ensure his presence.

The trial court had summoned Mallya as an accused following a complaint by the Delhi International Airport Limited, which operates the capital's IGI Airport, claiming that a cheque for Rs 1 crore issued by Kingfisher Airlines on February 22, 2012, was returned to them a month later containing the remarks -- "fund insufficient".

The DIAL had filed four cases in June 2012 against Mallya over KFA's cheques totalling Rs 7.5 crore not being honoured.

The grounded airline had issued the cheques towards payment for services availed by them at the IGI airport in Delhi.

In the second case on Friday, the court of chief metropolitan magistrate Sumit Dass also warned of initiating coercive process against Mallya.

The court observed that he had no inclination to return and had scant regard for the law of the land.

It said coercive process has to be initiated against liquor baron Mallya as he was facing proceedings in several cases and evading appearance in those matters.

CMM Sumit Dass also held that Mallya's plea, that he wanted to return to India but was "incapacitated" to travel as his passport had been revoked by Indian authorities, was "mala fide" and an "abuse of the process of law".

"He has no inclination whatsoever to come to this court and appear here... He has scant regard for the law of the land," the court said.

"Keeping in view the conduct of the accused, coercive process has to be directed against the accused. Issue non-bailable warrant against the accused. Put up the matter for December 22," the court said.

During the hearing senior advocate Ramesh Gupta and advocate Ajay Bhargava, appearing for Mallya, said he does not wish to file any reply to the Enforcement Directorate's response on his plea and the matter should be fixed for final arguments.

The court also said that on October 4 it had specifically noted that he could approach authorities and obtain emergency documents to return to India but the situation is that he has not taken any such step.

"It appears that accused is not willing to take any steps to return to India," the CMM said.

Mallya, chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, is facing action after defaulting on over Rs 9,000-crore loan from 17 banks.

In July this year, he had skipped appearance before a PMLA court in Mumbai in connection with a money laundering probe against him in alleged bank loan fraud case.

Mallya had left the country in March and is currently said to be in the UK. Several cheque bounce cases have been filed against him.

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