The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has revoked liquor baron Vijay Mallya's passport. MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Sunday tweeted saying, "After having considered replies by Vijay Mallya, MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) revokes his passport under S.10(3)(c) & (h) of Passports Act."
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) April 24, 2016
"Having considered the reply furnished by Vijay Mallya to the show cause notice, facts got by Enforcement Directorate and non-bailable warrant under the PMLA Act, 2002 issued by special judge, Mumbai, the MEA has revoked the passport of Vijay Mallya," External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
The move comes at a time when Mallya, who is currently in Britain and is facing legal proceedings for the alleged default of loans worth over Rs 9,000 crores from various banks, has ignored three summonses issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), seeking time till May to depose before the agency.
The ministry is also consulting legal experts on the deportation of Mallya who is facing charges of money laundering and other financial irregularities.
ED has approached the MEA seeking initiation of deportation proceedings against liquor baron Mallya charged with money laundering in the Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case.
Sources have already indicated that once the deportation proceedings are initiated, the government will seek assistance of the United Kingdom to interdict Mallya and fly him back to India.
"The grounds for deportation are primarily two. A non-bailable warrant issued by the Mumbai court and suspension of the passport of the businessman," they said.
Following the request from the ED to bring back Mallya back to the country, the external affairs ministry on Friday had said that it had initiated the deportation of the liquor baron. Speaking to the media, Vikas Swarup, the spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs of India on Friday had said that the ministry is in consultation with the legal experts for deportation request of the businessman.
Armed with a non-bailable arrest warrant (NBW) against him, ED on Thursday had approached the External Affairs Ministry seeking initiation of deportation proceedings against liquor baron Vijay Mallya in connection with its money laundering probe against him.
The agency had written to MEA and said it would also soon write to the CBI to get an Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) issued against the Rajya Sabha MP to get him arrested, based on the NBW directed by a Mumbai court. Only last week, the MEA had suspended Mallya's diplomatic passport and has sought a reply from him as to why his passport should not be revoked as the ED said the businessman was not cooperating in the probe in the said case under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
According to sources, once the deportation proceedings are initiated, the MEA will seek assistance of their counterparts in the United Kingdom to interdict Mallya and fly him back to India. "The grounds for deportation are primarily two. A non-bailable warrant issued by the Mumbai court and suspension of the passport of the businessman," they said.
Mallya is understood to be in the UK after he left India on 2 March.
A Hyderabad court on Thursday (21 April) convicted Mallya in a cheque-bouncing case filed against him by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. With the latest request for deportation, the ED has virtually deployed all legal measures in place to bring back Mallya to India and make him join investigations "in person", which the agency had stated in a Mumbai court was essential to take the probe forward in the case.
The 60-year-old industrialist has skipped three summons issued by ED in this regard in the past. He had also sought time till May to depose before agency investigators.
ED has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI. The agency is not only investigating the financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines but also looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loans from IDBI and probing laundering of funds to overseas destinations by the group.
The agency had alleged that Mallya had siphoned off Rs 430 crore of the IDBI loan and used this money to acquire properties abroad, a charge denied by Kingfisher.