The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is all set to hand over assets of fugitive businessmen Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya to state-owned construction company National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), which will rent these out for commercial or residential purposes.
Sources said after a discussion which stretched over 48 hours, the ED decided to approach the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court to seek that Mallya, Modi and Choksi be declared ‘fugitives’ who had defied non-bailable arrest warrants to stay put abroad. It was argued that they should be covered under the stringent provisions of the new law against economic offenders.
Mallya will be among the first targets of the fresh law because in his case, two essential conditions for the confiscation of property namely arrest warrant and filing of charge sheet in the court have been met.
“Our expenditure in maintaining the immovable properties we have seized runs into millions of rupees per annum. Once these are handed over to NBCC, we can free up those sums to be utilised elsewhere. Most properties remain unused,” said a senior ED official.
Other fugitives against whom the agency is likely to move include former deputy collector of Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority Nitish Thakur and the promoters of Speak Asia. The confiscation of assets will include all properties of the accused identified in India and abroad.
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