Hyderabad: A court in Hyderabad has issued non-bailable warrants against liquor baron Vijay Mallya and A Raghunath, the chief financial officer of Kingfisher Airlines, in an alleged cheating case.
The police have been ordered to produce Mr Mallya – who is currently in the UK — in court by April 13.
Infrastructure major GMR Group’s Hyderabad arm had filed a petition seeking that Vijay Mallya be prosecuted as he had defaulted on payments and cheated the company by issuing cheques that bounced.
The airport officials had filed 11 cases against Mr Mallya’s airline Kingfisher in for non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs. 8 crore. Cheques issued for Rs. 50 lakh had bounced and a case was filed against him.
The court had asked Mr Mallya, the CFO and the company’s authorised signatory, to appear before it on March 10. None of them turned up. Mr Mallya’s lawyer pleaded for exemption or some more time.
But the GMR lawyer pointed out that indications were that Vijay Mallya had left the country despite a lookout notice being issued and hence the non-bailable warrant was issued.
The 60-year-old industrialist, who built his fortune partly with Kingfisher beer, had run into financial disaster with Kingfisher Airlines. He owes banks nearly Rs. 9000 crore – loaned to the now-defunct airlines – and is also wanted in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Department.
He has been ordered to appear for questioning in Mumbai on March 18 in connection with the money-laundering case.
In a statement on Sunday, Mr Mallya said: “I have been most pained as being painted as an absconder – I have neither the intention nor any reason to abscond,” he said. He had moved to the UK on March 2.