NEW DELHI: After business tycoon Vijay Mallya failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate thrice, the agency on Wednesday sought to revoke his passport in a money laundering case involving the alleged default of a Rs 900-crore loan from IDBI bank.
The agency has decided to approach court and to write Regional Passport Office in Delhi to the revoke Mallya’s passport. “Once the passport is revoked, Mallya’s stay abroad will face legal trouble,” an ED officer said.
On April 9, Mallya for the third time dodged the agency’s summons and sought time till May to appear before it. Mallya cited that he would not be able to appear as he is currently negotiating with banks for repaying loan. He was first summoned by the ED to appear in person at its office in Mumbai on March 18, but he sought time citing prior engagements, following which the agency asked him to depose on April 2. The third summons was issued to him on April 9.
Mallya is facing legal proceedings for the alleged default of loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore from various banks. Mallya left India on March 2. A consortium of 13 banks has also moved the court seeking the freezing of his passport.
The agency has also started probing to the 17-bank consortium, led by the SBI, which lent money to the grounded airlines, and later went to the Debt Recovery Tribunal for recovery of these dues. It has also sent official requests seeking details of the probe conducted by the Income Tax and Service Tax departments and the Serious Frauds Investigation Office against the airline in the past. Mallya owns the banks own Rs 9,000 crore of 17 banks.
The ED had registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered by the CBI in 2015. The agency is also investigating the financial structure of the Kingfisher Airlines. The agency has already questioned two senior officials in the money laundering case — former chief financial officer of the Kingfisher Airlines A Raghunathan and former United Breweries chief financial officer Ravi Nedungadi — along with a few other accused.