MUMBAI: On the advice of the Enforcement Directorate, the Union External Affairs Ministry has on Friday suspended the diplomatic passport of loans defaulter Vijay Mallya. In addition, the Enforcement department has moved a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai to issue a non-bailable warrant against the liquor baron in connection with its investigation on a Rs.900 crore IDBI loan fraud case.
Mallya, who has been residing in Britain for over a month, is facing legal proceedings for the alleged default of loans worth Rs 9,000 crores from various banks. With the latest developments, he had been left with the only choice of returning back to home.
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate has ordered Vijay Mallya for his presence before the investigation team, in connection with the money laundering case. However, the liquor baron was not in a position to heed the ED’s orders at three different occasions. This made the Enforcement Directorate to write a letter to the External Affairs ministry, regarding the suspension of Vijay Mallya’s passport.
“Mallya’s passport has been suspended under the section 10(3)(c) of the Passports Act, 1967. The decision has been taken keeping in view of the pending money laundering cases against him. Mallya has been asked to respond with in one week as to why his passport should not be impounded or revoked under the Passports Act. If he fails to respond with in the stipulated time, the ministry would assume that he has no response and will go ahead with the revocation”, spokesperson of MEA Vikas Swarup said.
The hearing on ED’s request over the issuance of a non-bailable warrant against Vijay Mallya is likely to take place on Saturday.