Refuting the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) charge that he traveled with 300 bags when he left India for Geneva, Vijay Mallya has filed an affidavit before a court in Mumbai and stated that he and his companion had only five bags with them. The affidavit was filed by Mallya’s lawyer Amit Desai last week. In it, Mallya has categorically denied the ED’s allegations of carrying 300 bags while travelling for a a meeting in Geneva two years ago.
The special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court has reserved it’s order on an application moved by the ED requesting that Mallya should be declared a fugitive economic offender (FEO).
Reiterating that the new law of declaring someone FEO was draconian, Desai said that earlier one could just pay a fine in lieu of confiscation of property, but now everything will be confiscated even if it has been obtained through legal means.
“Why don’t you ask Jet Airways cargo how many bags he had? Why don’t you ask those people in Geneva who had organised the conference which he had gone to attend before making such wild allegations?” Desai asked.
Special public prosecutor opposed the affidavit Desai presented in the court. He said since Desai had been given ample opportunities to furnish an affidavit earlier, she said, “I even object to you looking at the affidavit,” to the judge MS Azmi.
The affidavit has minutes of the meeting of world motor sport council from December 2, 2015 which Malya had attended in Paris. It was in this meeting that it was decided to hold the March 4, 2016 meeting in Geneva for which Malla had left New Delhi, allegedly with 300 bags. The minutes of that meeting was also attached to the affidavit.
Earlier, the ED had filed the application in the lower court to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender (FEO) under the new law that would help the agency confiscate about Rs 12,500 crore worth of his assets.
The special PMLA court will be passing an order on December 26. However, if it declares Mallya an FEO then arguments by Mallya’s business or property partners and all those who have filed interventions against the confiscation of property will have to be heard by the court before the confiscation can actually happen.