Image Source : PTI A file photo of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya.

A special court in Mumbai has issued a non-bailable warrant against fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya in connection with a Rs 180-crore loan default case linked to Indian Overseas Bank (IOB). The warrant was issued by special CBI court judge SP Naik Nimbalkar on June 29, with the detailed order was made available on Monday. The court emphasised Mallya’s status as a “fugitive” and cited previous non-bailable warrants issued against him based on CBI submissions, stating, “this is a fit case to issue an open-ended NBW against him to secure his presence.”

CBI alleges Mallya caused Rs 180 crore loss to IOB

The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is handling the case, alleged that Mallya, the promoter of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, caused a wrongful loss of over Rs 180 crore to the state-run bank by deliberately defaulting on loan payments. Mallya, who is currently residing in London, has already been declared a fugitive economic offender in a separate money laundering case investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The Indian government is also actively seeking his extradition. The latest warrant pertains to a cheating case filed by the CBI, which involves the alleged misappropriation of loans obtained by Kingfisher Airlines from IOB between 2007 and 2012.

What did CBI chargesheet say? 

As per a chargesheet filed in the case in the court recently by the central agency, these credit facilities were issued to the grounded private carrier by the bank under an agreement. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had in August 2010 directed the complainant bank (in the case) State Bank of India (SBI) to consider the proposal of Kingfisher Airlines Ltd (KAL) for restructuring of existing facilities by relaxing the concerned guidelines as a one-time measure for the aviation sector, the probe agency said in the document.

KAL’s loan diversion caused Rs 180 crore loss

Accordingly, the lenders, including IOB, restructured the existing credit facilities to KAL through a Master Debt Recast Agreement (MDRA). The agreement was signed between the KAL and a consortium of 18 banks. The allegations in the case pertain to false promises, and the diversion of loans for purposes other than it was availed, the CBI said. The accused dishonestly and with intent to cheat, “wilfully” defaulted on the repayment obligations under the aforesaid loans and caused a wrongful loss of Rs 141. 91 crore on the account of default on loans, the chargesheet claimed. The probe agency further alleged that an additional wrongful loss of Rs 38.30 crores was caused on the account conversion of loans to shares.

CBI summons Mallys and others 

Taking cognizance of the chargesheet, the CBI court issued summons against Mallya and five other accused in the case. However, the probe agency pressed for issuance of an NBW against Mallya, saying “the accused is a fugitive and an absconder”. Citing multiple cases where NBWs and summonses have been issued against the embattled businessman, the CBI’s plea said he is presently living in England and “continues to subvert the process of law in India.” Considering the CBI submission, the court said Mallya has absconded, declared a fugitive and NBWs are pending for execution against him in other cases. So no purpose will be served by issuing process (summons) to him.

(With PTI inputs)

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