Vijay Mallya, the former business tycoon who is facing extradition proceedings in UK, has moved the Supreme Court of India challenging the decision of the Enforcement Directorate to confiscate all his properties. Mallya allegedly duped a consortium of banks to the tune of £620 million. In his appeal, Mallya said he was questioning the power conferred on ED under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, for confiscation of all properties of a fugitive economic offender without assessing whether or not the properties under confiscation were part of the alleged “proceeds of crime”.
In his petition, the erstwhile owner of Kingfisher Airlines pleaded that he was challenging the constitutional validity of the arbitrary powers conferred upon the authorities under the FEO Act and that it was absolutely crucial for him to get a determination on this issue from the SC as the Bombay HC had refused to grant him relief. Proceedings for confiscation of properties of companies owned by Mallya and his relatives are pending before the Mumbai special court.
Mallya said though his challenge to the constitutional validity of FEO Act is pending before the Bombay HC, it refused his plea for interim stay on confiscation of all properties of companies owned by him and his family members and return of those properties which do not relate to Kingfisher Airlines’ irregularities.
ED passed provisional attachment order on June 11, 2016 for properties owned by United Breweries Holding Ltd, some of which were acquired as far back as 1919, Mallya claimed in his petition. In September 2016, ED passed second provisional attachment order to seize properties owned by companies controlled by Mallya’s family members.