New Delhi: External Affairs Ministry is consulting legal experts to explore the option of deportation of Vijay Mallya in connection with money laundering probe against the liquor baron in the Rs 900 crore IDBI alleged loan fraud case after ED has approached it.
On revocation of the passport of Mallya, whose Kingfisher Airlines has allegedly defaulted on loans of over Rs 9,400 crores, the ministry, which has 'suspended' his passport, said it was examining the reply sent by him while declining to divulge its contents.
Noting that the ministry has been approached by the Enforcement Directorate which informed about the non-bailable arrest warrant issued against Mallya by a Sessions Court in Greater Mumbai, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said a request has been made to initiate steps for the deportation of Mallya to ensure his presence before the lawful authorities to proceed with investigation against him. Now "we are consulting legal experts," he said.
He said ED has approached MEA forboth revocation of Mallya's passport and his deportation. "Those two actions are underway," he said.
Parallelly, the ministry was also examining the response provided by Mallya through his lawyer to the show-cause notice asking why his passport should not be impounded or revoked, he said.
Sources had already indicated that once the deportation proceedings are initiated, the government will seek assistance of the United Kingdom 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," they said. Mallya is understood to be in the UK after he left India on March 2.