CBI Court issues Letter of Request to US to aid in Mallya Case

By Astha Joshi

A Special Court of CBI in Mumbai issued a Letter of Request to the United States for helping the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its probe into the fraud case against Vijay Mallya.

The judge of the special court Jayendra C Jagale received an application filed by the CBI to issue an LoR for new evidence from the US and to seek permission from the US Attorney general to use some evidence that was previously received.

An LoR is often issued to the foreign courts or other judicial authorities in any probe or investigation which is currently proceeding.

Here, the CBI approached the special court for the issuance of LoR. It was to investigate the utilization of funds received in the US-based bank accounts of Mallya.

The CBI is also looking into collecting evidence related to these bank accounts. CBI’s probe revealed that after availing loans from the consortium of banks, the accused Mallya diverted the amounts for other purposes rather than those stated to the banks.

Citing an example, the CBI told the court that an aggregate of Rs 263.08 crore, out of loans availed from IDBI Bank in 2009, was diverted for purposes of TDS overdue, lease rentals of corporate private jet used by Mallya, payment of salaries, and other such uses.

Giving another instance, the probe agency said that Rs 15.90 crore were diverted from the proceeds of the SBI loan in May 2009 to a Bengaluru-based IPL team, Royal Challengers Sports Private Ltd.

There are similar significant diversions to related parties like Force India Formula One team. The CBI went on to submit that there are other large transfers of funds from loans availed from KAL to its overseas accounts.

It further added that the funds lying in such accounts are proceeds of crime. Considering CBI’s submissions, Jagdale, on Monday, ordered issuance of LoR to the Attorney General of the US, for conducting a probe and providing the required evidence vis-à-vis Mallya and KAL.