Liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s passport has been suspended by the government

Mumbai: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday suspended UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya’s passport who is facing investigations on the default of Rs9,000 crore worth bank loans and financial irregularities on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The ED had on Wednesday sought the revocation of Mallya’s passport for non-cooperation with investigators, after he failed to present himself before the agency that has summoned him three times.

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. “On the advice of the ED, the passport issuing authority in the Ministry of External Affairs has suspended the validity of Mr. Mallya’s diplomatic passport with immediate effect for a period of four weeks, under Section 10 A of the Passports Act.”

He said.“If he fails to respond within the stipulated time, it will be assumed that he has no response to offer and the MEA will go ahead with revocation,” he said.

Mallya had thrice failed to appear before the ED IO in Mumbai in connection with the Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case which the central probe agency is investigating under PMLA.

A Hyderabad court also issued a non-bailable warrant against him in March for alleged dishonour of a cheque of Rs.50 lakh which is issued to GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited.

According to sources, the government was very seriously concerned against Mallya about the misappropriation of funds of banks by wilful defaulters and fraudsters and identified the Kingfisher Airlines as one such.

The ED may also approach the court seeking a non-bailable warrant against him in the bank loan default case.