New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari accepted Vijay Mallya's resignation from the house on Wednesday, a day after the embattled liquor baron, accused of defaulting on a Rs.9,000-crore loan he had taken from Indian banks, decided to quit "in keeping with the highest standards of ethics" as a member of parliament.
The dramatic acceptance of resignation came even as the house ethics panel earlier recommended that the flamboyant businessman be expelled from the Rajya Sabha as his resignation letter recieved on Tuesday did not have his original signature.
However, Rajya Sabha sources said Mallya sent another resignation letter to the chairman before the house could have taken the ethics panel report seeking his expulsion "with immediate effect".
"The Rajya Sabha accepts the resignation of Vijay Mallya with effect from May 4 (Wednesday)," Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien announced in the house.
The ethics panel at its meeting on Tuesday recommended Mallya's expulsion. A panel report tabled in the house by its chairman Karan Singh said the "committee hopes that by taking such stern action, a message would reach the general public that parliament is committed to take such steps as are necessary against erring members to uphold the dignity and prestige of this great institution".
Mallya is accused of defaulting on more than Rs.9,000 crore in loans he had taken from a consortium of banks. He left India on March 2 and is believed to be living in the United Kingdom. His passport was revoked after he failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate despite three consecutive summons in an alleged money laundering case.
Mallya was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2002 and again in 2010 as an independent member from Karnataka. His current term was to end on June 30.
He left India on March 2 as banks began putting pressure on him to repay the loans. Mallya, who claims to be in a forced exile, has denied he has defaulted and said he was the victim of media trial and a "lynch mob mentality".