If he still doesn't pay heed, officials say the investigating agency can move court
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday issued fresh summons — the third such — to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) chairman Vijay Mallya, directing him to appear before the investigating agency in Mumbai before April 9 to depose in the case of money laundering of IDBI Bank's loan of Rs 900 crores.
"We have summoned Mallya [to appear] before April 9," said a senior ED official. "Under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), if he does not appear by the third summons, we can move court for further action."
Mallya and other officials of Kingfisher Airlines have been booked under the PMLA as the ED suspects that the money from the loan was parked in foreign shores. The agency is also investigating the overall financial structure of the now defunct airlines and will look into whether there were any kickbacks to secure loan.
Mallya was first asked to appear before the ED by March 18. "After this, he was asked to come by April 2," said the official. But last week, he wrote to the agency, seeking time till May. "He told us that he wanted more time, maybe till May. We need to question him about the money trail as he was the most important person in the airline," said the official.
The ED has already recorded the statements of A Raghunathan, a former chief financial officer of KFA, and other senior officials of the airline. Mallya, who is currently in the UK, has been trying to settle the dispute with banks through video-conferencing. He has told the ED that he is trying to reach a solution on loan repayments and has agreed to pay half the amount to a consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India, which had lent him money.