The enforcement order gives 13 banks the legal option of entering the UK-based properties of Vijay Mallya, who is fighting extradition to India on fraud and money- laundering charges.
Problems of liquor baron Vijay Mallya just got bigger as a UK High Court judge issued an enforcement order in favour of a consortium of 13 Indian banks, seeking to recover funds owed to them by the 62-year-old tycoon who is fighting extradition to India on fraud and money laundering charges worth nearly Rs 9,000 crore.
The order grants permission to the UK High Court Enforcement Officer to enter the 62-year-old tycoon’s properties in Hertfordshire, near London.
It permits the officer and his agents entry to Ladywalk and Bramble Lodge in Tewin, Welwyn, where Mallya is currently based and to search for and take control of goods belonging to him.
Legal experts say the HC’s order is crucial to this case. It relates to the UK’s Tribunal Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and follows a UK High Court ruling in May, which refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya’s assets and upheld an Indian court’s ruling that the Indian banks were entitled to recover funds.
Meanwhile, Bangalore police on Thursday informed a Delhi court that it has identified 159 properties belonging to the liquor baron. ED special public prosecutor told the court that the agency needed more time to identify Mallya’s other properties which can be attached. The court allowed the agency’s plea and directed the Bangalore police to file a fresh report by October 11.
Mallya’s next day of reckoning is the 27th of August when he has to appear in court on ED’s charges of being a fugitive Economic Offender. Failure to appear would label him a fugitive and Indian agencies would be allowed to attach his properties.