Beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya was on Tuesday declared a proclaimed offender by a special PMLA court in Mumbai on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate(ED) in connection with its money laundering probe against him in an alleged bank loan default case.

A person can be termed a proclaimed offender in a criminal case probe if the court has reasons to believe that the accused against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by it, has absconded or is concealing himself so that such warrant cannot be executed.

"The ED application is allowed and proclamation is issued against Vijay Mallya," ordered Special Judge PR Bhavke.

File photo of Vijay Mallya | AFP

The agency had moved the court to issue an order under Section 82 CrPC and term the liquor baron a proclaimed offender as he has "multiple" arrest warrants pending against him including a non-bailable warrant (NBW) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

ED has been wanting Mallya to join investigations "in person" in its PMLA probe against him and others in the Rs 900 crore alleged loan fraud of IDBI bank and has virtually exhausted all legal remedies like seeking an Interpol arrest warrant and getting his passport revoked.

It is also seeking to invoke the India-United Kingdom Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to extradite Mallya from Britain.

Mallya had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport. The agency has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI.

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