An Indian court has issued two non-bailable warrants against liquor baron Vijay Mallya, dubbed the Richard Branson of India, for evading court summons in a Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (Fera) case and a 2012 cheque bounce case. He is believed to be living in the UK to avoid arrest.
The founder and owner of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines was reported to have fled to London when the Enforcement Directorate initiated a legal process earlier in the year to recover money owed to banks by the airline. It reportedly owes over Rs 90bn (£1.08bn, $1.35bn) to a consortium of 17 Indian banks.
On Friday (4 November 2016), a court in the national capital New Delhi ruled that Mallya "has no intention to return to India" and "has scant regard for the law of the land". The court also reprimanded the business tycoon for "abusing" the legal system by using revoking of his passport as an excuse for not coming back to the country to face court proceedings.
"It appears that the accused is not willing to take any steps to return to India," Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass said during the hearing, which was attended by advocates Ramesh Gupta and Ajay Bhargava on behalf of Mallya.
The court directed relevant authorities to initiate "coercive process against the accused", issue non-bailable warrant and put up the matter for hearing on 22 December, the Press Trust of India reported.
Mallya's lawyers said their client does not wish to file any reply to the Enforcement Directorate's response on his plea to excuse him from appearing at the court hearing.
The Enforcement Directorate has reportedly already attached Mallya's properties worth over Rs 80bn and has registered a fresh case against him and Kingfisher Airlines on 23 August for loan default of over Rs 60bn.