Beleaguered liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya told a court on Friday that he wishes to return to India but can’t do so because the Centre has revoked his passport.
“He (Mallya) has clear intention to co operate but it has become impossible to travel back to the country,” ANI quoted Mallya’s lawyer as telling the Patiala House Court in Delhi.
The Enforcement Directorate is probing a laundering case against Mallya, 60, who left the country in March owing more than Rs 9,000 crore to a group of banks. The ED has charged the Rajya Sabha member of diverting nearly half of a Rs 950-crore loan he had taken for the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines to acquire properties abroad.
India’s efforts to bring Mallya to the country for questioning suffered a setback in May when UK refused to deport him. He has had an indefinite right of residency there since 1992.
Mallya’s diplomatic passport, which he carried as a member of the Rajya Sabha, was revoked in April, with a judge in Mumbai issuing a non-bailable warrant for his arrest.
In an interview with Reuters at the British Grand Prix recently, Mallya has made clear his reluctance to return “unless assured of a fair trial in India, if at all there needs to be a trial.”
On Saturday, the ED took possession of assets worth more than Rs 6,500 crore of Mallya, the second such action against the flamboyant businessman once known as a “king of good times”.