A day after the Enforcement Directorate attached assets worth Rs 1,411 crore of Vijay Mallya and one of his companies, the liquor baron on Sunday said there is “no rationale nor any legal basis” behind such action and alleged that government agencies are pursuing a “heavily biased investigation” against him.
Reacting to the ED action, Mallya said “The assets purportedly attached under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) date back to several years prior to the launch of Kingfisher Airlines. There is no rationale nor any legal basis for the series of actions initiated by the ED which is now making it more difficult to raise resources to pay the Banks.”
In a statement, he said, “Purely civil matters such as loan recovery are being connected with criminal allegations without any basis whatsoever.”
He said “media reports and a tweet from the ED suggest that the ED has attached various properties belonging to myself and United Breweries Holdings Ltd which is a public Company and not even the subject of any ED investigation”.
Mallya said the EDs latest move seems to be “to approach the PMLA Court to declare me a proclaimed absconder for reasons that I cannot understand”.
He said he left India “as per schedule on March 2 to attend meetings in Geneva at which time no ED proceedings had commenced and no summons issued” to him.
“All government agencies are also approaching various Courts to cancel previous exemptions from personal appearance granted to me so that further NBWs can be issued against me all of which seems to be part of a concerted effort to construct a case for my extradition,” Mallya added.
He further stated “it surely appears as if these agencies are pursuing a heavily biased investigation and are already holding me guilty without trial after which I need to prove my innocence”.
Stating that he has been reaching out to the “banks asking them to nominate a committee to sit across the table and negotiate a one time settlement with us”.