NEW DELHI: The government will ensure that liquor baron Vijay Mallya is brought home ‘to face justice’. And for this, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is consulting legal experts to explore the option of his deportation from the UK as part of the money laundering probe underway against him in the `900-crore IDBI loan fraud case.
Briefing the media here on Friday, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had informed the MEA about a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against Mallya by a sessions court in Greater Mumbai. “Now we are consulting legal experts,” he explained, adding that the ED had sought Mallya’s deportation and revocation of his passport. “Those two actions are underway,” he said.
On revocation of Mallya’s diplomatic passport, which has been ‘suspended’, he replied the MEA was examining the business tycoon’s reply. Simultaneously, the ministry is also examining the response provided by Mallya through his lawyer to the showcause notice on his passport’s revocation. Sources have already indicated that once the deportation proceedings are initiated, the government will seek the UK’s assistance to interdict Mallya and fly him back to India.
The grounds for deportation are primarily two. A non-bailable warrant issued by the Mumbai court and suspension of the passport of the businessman. Mallya is believed to have left India on March 2 and is currently in the UK.
The ED’s investigation relates to `900 crore loaned by the state-run IDBI in 2009 to Kingfisher Airlines, allegedly despite knowing the company’s financial troubles. The ED has accused Mallya of siphoning off money from Kingfisher to buy properties abroad, a charge he has denied.