₹18,000 crore recovered from Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi & Choksi: Centre to SC

In the case of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Rs 18,000 crore had been returned to the banks.

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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Rs 18,000 crore had been returned to the banks in the Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi cases.

Mehta, speaking on behalf of the Centre, told a bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that the total proceeds of crime in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases pending before the Supreme Court amount to Rs 67,000 crore.
He went on to say that the Directorate of Enforcement is currently investigating 4,700 cases and that the number of cases taken up for investigation each year over the last five years has ranged from 111 in 2015-16 to 981 in 2020-21.

Mallya is wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges and is being held on bail in the UK while a “confidential” legal process is completed.
After the UK government ordered his extradition to India in February 2019, Mallya exhausted all legal avenues to challenge the order in British courts. The businessman is now wanted to believe to be relying on an application for political asylum in the United Kingdom.
While Mallya owes a consortium of banks over 9,000 crore in principal and interest, diamantaires Nirav Modi and Choksi, the main suspect in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case, had also caused the bank losses totalling 13,000 crore.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a slew of petitions challenging the broad range of powers granted to the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) under the law for quest, seizure, investigation, and attachment of criminal proceeds.

Mehta told the bench, which included Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and C.T. Ravikumar, that over the last five years (2016-17 to 2020-21), only 2,086 cases were filled up for investigation under the PMLA, despite the police and other enforcement agencies filing approximately 33 lakh FIRs for predicate offences.

He went on to say that “a very handful of cases are being taken up for investigation under the PMLA in comparison to annual registration of cases under the Money Laundering Act in the UK (7,900), the US (1,532), China (4,691 cases), Austria (1,036), Hongkong (1,823), Belgium (1,862) and Russia (2,764).”