NEW DELHI: The fate of liquor baron Vijay Mallya as a Rajya Sabha MP is almost sealed with the Upper House’s Ethics Committee, headed by senior Congress leader Karan Singh, on Monday recommending his expulsion.
There was near unanimity on his expulsion but in keeping with the principle of natural justice, the panel has given him a week to reply to the allegations that he had defaulted on payment of over `9,000 crore to a consortium of banks, said committee member and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury. The panel will meet again on May 3.
Yechury said Mallya had never declared these liabilities in the last 10 years, which a member is supposed to do annually. On the contrary, he claimed he had no liabilities in an affidavit submitted to the Election Commission in June 2010, Yechury said.
Mallya, last seen in the Upper House during the Budget session in March, retires on June 30. According to sources, committee member Sharad Yadav wanted the panel to act tough so as to send a message that lawmakers are not above the law.
Emerging from the meeting, Karan said, “We have examined the entire issue. The documents that we had sought from banks have also come. There was a unanimous view that he should be expelled from the House membership. But still, we have decided to give him a week’s time to tell us whatever he has to say. The next meeting of the committee has been fixed on May 3, when we will take a final decision,” he said. The panel had sought details of the liabilities of Kingfisher airline from 13 banks, which furnished their replies pegging the amount at `9,431.65 crore.