While explaining why he had evaded summons, liquor baron Vijay Mallya through his counsel told a court that he cannot travel to India as his passport has been suspended. Mallya told a Delhi court that he wants to return home, but does not have a passport.
A case was lodged against Mallya for evading summons in connection with a FERA violation. Mallya's advocate, Ramesh Gupta told the court that he would need some more time for his client's appearance to be secured. On July 9 the court had cancelled Mallya's exemption from personal appearance while directing to appear before it.
Gupta also showed a copy of the email sent by Mallya in which it was stated that his passport had been suspended on April 23. He said that suspension of the passport had taken place without according him an opportunity.
The Enforcement Directorate however told the court that Mallya had been evading proceedings in several other cases. The case will now come up on October 4 and the ED has been directed to file a reply.
The Enforcement Directorate had issued summons to Mallya to appear before it for questioning. The ED said that a payment of 200,000 Dollars had been made to a British firm for displaying the Kingfisher logo during the Formula One championship during the years 1996,1997 and1998. The ED claimed that the payment did not have the approval of the Reserve Bank of India and hence was in violation of the FERA norms.
The ED had sought the issuance of a non-bailable warrant against Mallya. It also sought the recall of a 2000 December order which had exempted Mallya from personal appearance in this case. The agency however moved an application in July 2016 to get the exemption from personal appearance cancelled.
The ED said that Mallya had been summoned four times for questioning after he had signed the contract in December 1995 with Benetton Formula Ltd for the promotion of his brand.
The ED says that the case is at its final stage and hence his presence for questioning becomes important.