Recovering assets from fugitive defaulters – drop in the bucket?
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that India’s public sector banks have recovered Rs.13,109.17 crore from the asset sale of fugitives like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi. She said this while replying to a discussion on the second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants which was approved by the Lok Sabha amid uproar by the Opposition over various issues.
Speaking on the banks’ recovery from wilful defaulters, she said that a total of Rs.13,109.17 crore has been recovered from the asset sales of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi as of July 2021 as per the information provided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The latest recovery was Rs.792 crore from the sale of assets belonging to Mallya and others on July 16, 2021, she added.
“Public sector banks together have effected a recovery of about Rs.5.49 lakh crore over the last seven financial years. So, these people who are defaulters, who have fled the country, we have got their money back and put it to the public sector banks and therefore the banks are safer today,” she said.
Fugitives Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi are now in London facing India’s deportation cases. Mallya is in the UK since March 2016. He is on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017. Supreme Court has scheduled contempt of court case on January 18, 2022, saying that the Indian Court can’t wait for delays in deportation cases in London.
Nirav Modi is in jail for more than two years. The British High Court on December 15 deferred ruling on Nirav Modi’s appeal against his extradition to India in order to allow his barrister more time to make submissions on a fresh assurance from the Indian government on how his mental health will be taken care of at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.
Nirav Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi is now living in Antigua. In June 2021, he accused Indian agencies of trying to kidnap him via Dominica. He alleged that he was honey-trapped by a girl named Barbara Jarabik and with her help, some bouncers kidnapped him to Dominica. Though Indian agencies approached the Court in Dominica to hand over the fugitive Choksi, the Court preferred to hand over back to Antigua.
 Vijay Mallya contempt case to be dealt with finally on Jan 18: Supreme Court – Nov 30, 2021, HT
 UK high court defers decision on Nirav Modi’s appeal against extradition – Dec 15, 2021, ToI
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