Independent MP and liquor baron Vijay Mallya will approach the Delhi Court to challenge the government's decision to revoke his passport as it transgresses his constitutional rights according to his close associates, the Economic Times said today. His friends also hinted at his safety concerns if he returns to India. Mallya is unlikely to come to India soon, said his lawyer.
Mallya is understood to be in the UK after he left India on 2 March. Kingfisher, which ceased operations in October 2012, owed the banks, mostly state-run, Rs 9,091 crore including interest and fees as of last November, the government has said.
The 60 year-old industrialist feels that he is being made a victim of the bad loan burden of banks despite wanting to reach a settlement with them. The Enforcement Directorate too wants to question Mallya for money laundering issues, according to the ET report. Mallya has ignored three summons by the ED seeking time till May to depose before the agency.
The 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.
Meanwhile, the Ethics Committee of Rajya Sabha headed by veteran Congress leader Karan Singh, has recommended that Mallya be expelled before his term ends on June 30. "We have examined the entire issue related to Mallya's case. The documents that we had sought from banks have also come. There was a unanimous view in the panel that he should be expelled from the House membership," said Singh.
The committee had sought details of the liabilities on Mallya's airline Kingfisher from 13 banks, which furnished their replies according to which the total liability on Mallya's company is Rs 9431.65 crore. Of this IDBI's liability alone is Rs 1687.04 crores followed by the Rs 1223 crore by Punjab National Bank.
The committee decided to crack the whip on the ground that Mallya never declared these liabilities in the last ten years, which a member is supposed to do annually.
The 10-member committee headed by Singh comprises Satish Chandra Misra (BSP), Avinash Rai Khanna (BJP), Sharad Yadav (JDU), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Mukul Roy (Trinamool Congress), Neeraj Shekhar (Samajwadi Party), A Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK) and Devender Goud T (TDP).
Following the request from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to bring back Vijay Mallya back to the country, the external affairs ministry has initiated the deportation of the billionaire liquor baron. Vikas Swarup, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Effairs of India had earlier said the ministry is in consultation with the legal experts for deportation request of the businessman.
However, associates of Mallya said that unless government assures Mallya of fair treatment, he is unlikely to return to the country.