A Delhi court on Friday asked liquor baron Vijay Mallya to reply to the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea in connection with a case pertaining to violation of foreign exchange rules.
The directorate has sought to withdraw the exemption granted to him from personal appearance in the case lodged for evading summons.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass passed the order after noting that the reply filed by the accused, through his lawyer, did not bear Mallya’s signatures.
Next hearing on May 28
The court fixed the matter for May 28 after his counsel said that the papers with Mallya’s signature were awaited.
The court had in December 2000 allowed Mallya’s plea seeking permanent exemption from personal apperance.
The ED’s application, filed through prosecutor N K Matta, had requested the court to direct the accused to personally appear in the case, which is at its final stage.
The ED has also sought issuance of non-bailable warrant against the chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines to secure his presence in the ongoing trial.
In his reply filed on Friday, the accused has sought dismissal of the application filed by the ED, but the court did not accept the response.
“The physical appearance of the accused is not required at the stage of final arguments since a duly authorised counsel on his behalf has been appearing before the court on each date of hearing,” the reply said.
“The accused has diligently complied with all the directions of this court. It is also evident from the record that there is neither any allegation against the accused for violating the directions of this court nor any misuse of the liberty granted by this court at any stage of trial.”
“Therefore, the application filed by the complainant (ED) seeking physical appearance of the accused is completely misplaced, untenable and unsustainable in the eyes of law,” the reply said.