The government is committed to bringing back liquor baron Vijay Mallya to the country to face proceedings for not paying back loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swaroop said on Friday.
The comments came a day after the enforcement directorate – probing the industrialist for defaulting on loans – approached the foreign ministry to initiate deportation proceedings against Mallya, who is currently in the United Kingdom.
“The government is committed to bring him back to face justice, currently we are in the process of consulting various agencies,” Swaroop told reporters in Delhi.
“We are considering legal experts in this matter,” he added when asked about the ED request for deportation.
The comments indicate the Centre is contemplating getting tougher on Mallya, who has till date appeared unfazed by debt recovery pressure from banks and central probes.
He refused on Thursday to reveal details of properties he holds in the UK, saying Indian banks had no jurisdiction on his foreign assets. The 60-year-old is said to hold around Rs 780 crore worth assets abroad.
Mallya left India in March, triggering outrage as he is under probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED for defaulting on loans taken by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
A consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India has approached the Supreme Court to recover their money.
As on date, KFA owes Rs 9,300 crore to banks and various government departments in loans, interests and other dues.