After seeking to withdraw the exemption granted to liquor baron Vijay Mallya from personal appearance in the money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday approached the Interpol to issue a red corner notice against the absconding former UB group chairman, was is also wanted by the banks for defaulting around Rs. 9,000 crore.
Officials said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has written to CBI to obtain a Red Corder Notice (RCN) against Mallya from the global police body. CBI acts as the nodal office for execution of Interpol warrants in India.
An RCN is issued “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action” in a criminal case probe.
However, Britain has made it clear that Mallya cannot be deported and asked India to seek his extradition instead.
The UK government’s response came nearly a fortnight after India made a request for the deportation of Mallya, whose Indian passport was revoked in a bid to secure his presence for investigations against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002.
“The UK government has informed that under the 1971 Immigration Act, the UK does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in the UK if they have extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter the UK was conferred,” the ministry of external affairs said in a statement.
The agency has already begun the exercise of identifying and valuing the country-wide immovable assets of the beleaguered businessman in order to place them under attachment under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
It has virtually exhausted most of the legal options to make Mallya join the probe including issuance of a non-bailable warrant against him from a Mumbai court based on which it made the requests for the revocation of his passport and subsequent deportation bid to bring back the businessman from the UK.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday said in Parliament that India will now have to initiate extradition process after a charge sheet is filed to bring back the embattled tycoon to face money laundering charges as well as recovery of the Rs 9,400 crore of loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Cancellation of passport “does not result in automatic deportation, that is the stand taken by UK,” Jaitley had said.
Officials, however, had said filing a charge sheet is a time-consuming process and hence some other legal options will surely be mulled to make Mallya join probe in India, not only by the ED but by the CBI too.
Mallya had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport.