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Mallya can return to India on emergency travel document: ED

By Ians

New Delhi, Oct 4: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday told a court here that liquor baron Vijay Mallya can obtain emergency travel document to visit India and can face a case of alleged violation of foreign exchange rules against him.

The ED's Public Prosecutor Navin Matta requested Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass to reject Mallya's plea for exemption from personal appearance before the court.

Mallya can obtain travel document: ED

"...the accused (Mallya) may visit the nearest High Commission of India and obtain an emergency travel document and visit India on the basis authorised travel document obtained from the High Commission of India," Prosecutor Matta told the court.

Mallya on September 9 sought exemption from personal appearance in court and said he is unable to return to the country and face trial in a case of alleged violation of foreign exchange rules as the Indian authorities had suspended his passport.

On July 9, the court asked Mallya to personally appear before it on September 9, after allowing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) plea to withdraw the exemption given to him from personal appearance in the case.

Mallya's counsel Ajay Bhargava moved a plea seeking exemption from his personal appearance and told the court that his client is living in London.

The court has fixed the matter for November 4 for further hearing.

Earlier, the court had allowed the ED plea to seek recall of a court order that granted permanent exemption from appearance to Mallya, who faces money laundering charges in India.

The court was hearing the final arguments in the 2000 case related to alleged violation by Mallya of provisions of the erstwhile Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) in arranging funds to advertise his company's liquor products abroad."

According to the ED, Mallya allegedly paid $200,000 to a British firm for displaying the Kingfisher logo in the Formula One World Championships in London and some European countries in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

The agency had claimed that the money was allegedly paid without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India, in violation of FERA norms.

Mallya was summoned and tried in the case. He was granted exemption from personal appearance by the Delhi court on December 20, 2000.


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