The Ministry of External Affairs suspended the passport of Vijay Mallya on the request of Enforcement Directorate, chairman of the Kingfisher Airlines in connection with a money laundering probe in the over Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case. The Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case against Vijay Mallya, based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI. The agency is also investigating the financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and is looking into any payment of kickbacks it made to secure loan the loan.
Under the Passport Act, when a person is issued a diplomatic passport their regular international travel document gets deposited. If the diplomatic passport is revoked, the latter too gets cancelled. The suspension of a passport is the first step towards its revocation. The ED request to the MEA to cancel Mallya’s passport came after he failed to appear before it despite being summoned thrice in the case involving over Rs 900 crore loan from the IDBI. The agency had issued fresh summons last week to Mallya asking him to appear on April 9 after he sought two extensions from the earlier dates of March 18 and April 2.
The Enforcement Directorate, the Passport Issuing Authority in the Ministry of External Affairs has today suspended the validity of Vijay Mallya diplomatic passport with immediate effect for a period of 4 weeks, under Section 10 A of the Passports Act, 1967. Vijay 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.
Vijay Mallya left the country for the United Kingdom on March 2 using a diplomatic passport.
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