Vijay Mallya's diplomatic passport frozen for four weeks

Vijay Mallya, whose Kingfisher Airlines has defaulted on loans of over Rs 9,400 crore, and has been defying Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons, yesterday suffered a major blow when his passport was suspended by the government, which has threatened to revoke it.

The External Affairs Ministry suspended the diplomatic passport of the flamboyant 60-year-old industrialist, who has been in Britain for over a month and has refused to appear before the ED, on ED’s recommendation.

“On the advice of the Enforcement Directorate, the Passport Issuing Authority in the MEA has today [Friday] suspended the validity of Vijay Mallya’s diplomatic passport with immediate effect for a period of 4 weeks, under Section 10 A of the Passports Act, 1967. Mallya has been asked to respond within one week as to why his passport should not be impounded or revoked under section 10(3)(c) of the Passports Act, 1967. 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 the revocation,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Non-bailable warrant
Besides seeking temporary suspension of his passport, the ED moved the special PMLA court yesterday here seeking a non-bailable warrant against him in connection with the loan fraud case.

“We have moved the court seeking NBW against him and the hearing is likely to take place tomorrow,” said an ED officer.

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