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Vijay Mallya seeks time until May to appear before ED

Liquor mogul Vijay Mallya will not appear before ED investigators in Mumbai on Saturday even as he asked time till May to make a deposition before the agency which is investigating his role in a money laundering case in the over Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case.

It is understood that Mallya has informed the IO that cases connected with bank loans are currently in progress in the Supreme Court and he is trying to clear up these loans with the help of his legal and corporate team and, hence, would need some more time.

It is learnt that while ED is reflecting options for its next action, it may not be "too keen" to grant his request given the "gravity" of the PMLA case.

Sources said, "His personal appearance is important to unravel the alleged irregularities reported to have been done in the IDBI loan fraud case. Money laundering offences probe are serious. Also, under PMLA, the onus to prove not guilty is on the accused and not on the investigating agency."

The agency essentially has two options, either to consent and issue him a third date or possibly take legal action for revoking his passport.

On March 30, Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines Ltd had presented to the apex court, a sealed cover proposal for settlement of Rs 4,000 crore out of the loan amount of Rs 6,903 crore to the consortium of banks headed by State Bank of India by September this year.

The United Breweries (UB) Chairman was first given summon notices by ED under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and it necessitated him to provide documents related to his personal investments and finances, Income Tax Returns for the last five years and Passport. The ED had filed a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on a CBI FIR lodged last year.