Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Min­istry Revokes Mallya’s Pass­port

But the be­lea­guered liquor baron, who as a Ra­jya Sabha MP had a diplo­matic pass­port, can chal­lenge the re­vo­ca­tion

The Economic Times - - Companies & Economy: Pursuit Of Profit - Our Bureau

New Delhi: The min­istry of ex­ter­nal af­fairs on Sun­day an­nounced that it has re­voked the pass­port of liquor baron Vi­jay Mallya, cur­rently in the UK, a lit­tle over a week af­ter his pass­port was sus­pended by the Naren­dra Modi govern­ment. The min­istry is now seek­ing a le­gal opin­ion to start the process of Mallya’s de­por­ta­tion from the UK.

“Hav­ing con­sid­ered the replies fur­nished by Vi­jay Mallya to the show cause no­tice, facts brought by En­force­ment Direc­torate, and Non Bail­able War­rant un­der the PMLA Act, 2002, is­sued by Spe­cial Judge, Mum­bai, the MEA re­voked the pass­port of Vi­jay Mallya un­der Sec­tion 10(3)(c) and 10(3)(h) of the Pass­ports Act, 1967,” said MEA spokesper­son Vikas Swarup. As a Ra­jya Sabha MP, Mallya has a diplo­matic pass­port.

The min­istry of ex­ter­nal af­fairs is also seek­ing a le­gal opin­ion on Mallya’s de­por­ta­tion. Mallya can ap­peal to the pass­port of­fice, or move the High Court or the Supreme Court, chal­leng­ing the re­vo­ca­tion of his pass­port on the lines of Lalit Modi, for­mer IPL com­mis­sioner.

Point­ing out that the min­istry has been ap­proached by the En­force­ment Direc­torate (ED) which in­formed about the non-bail­able ar­rest war­rant is­sued against Mallya by a Ses­sions Court in Greater Mum­bai, Swarup had said last Fri­day that a re­quest has been made to ini­ti­ate steps for Mallya’s de­por­ta­tion so that the le­gal au­thor­i­ties can be­gin his in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In­formed sources had in­di­cated that once the de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings are ini­ti­ated, the govern­ment will seek as­sis­tance of the UK to in­ter­dict Mallya and fly him back to In­dia. Mallya is un­der­stood to be in the UK af­ter he left In­dia on March 2. Last week, a court in Mum­bai had is­sued an ar­rest war­rant against Mallya af­ter he failed to ap­pear be­fore in­ves­ti­ga­tors look­ing into the fi­nances of his King­fisher Air­lines, which stopped op­er­at­ing in 2012.

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