ED Seeks Revocation of Mallya’s Passport
Our Political Bureau
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sought revocation of Vijay Mallya’s passport in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in a .₹ 900-crore IDBI Bank loan to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
The agency has written to the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) to take action under the Passport Act and ask the regional passport office here to revoke his diplomatic passport, which has been issued to the busi- nessman as he is a Rajya Sabha member. The agency said Mallya has turned ‘non-cooperative’ with its investigators.
Mallya left India for the UK in early March, even as a consortium of banks chasing him for repayment of loans approached the Supreme Court.
The probe agency said despite it giving three chances for Mallya to personally appear before it in the IDBI Bank case, the investigating officer in the case has only met with “noncooperation”, which is leading to a delay in taking the case forward. On all the three occasions when he was called —March 18, April 2 and April 9 — Mallya had said that he would be unable to depose personally citing the ongoing legal proceedings in the Supreme Court over settlement of loans. However, it is understood that he has suggested his legal team can help ED in taking the probe forward Under the Passport Act, when a per- son is issued a diplomatic passport, the regular international travel document gets deposited with the authorities. If the diplomatic passport is revoked, the other document also gets cancelled. ED officials said if the request is cleared, the ministry will inform UK authorities about it and seek his deportation to India.
Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for alleged default of loans worth over .₹ 9,000 crore, was also directed by the Supreme Court to disclose all assets owned by him and his family in India and abroad by April 21
ED’s move is in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in a 900-cr IDBI Bank loan to KFA