Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: In what could give a big blow to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the government on Friday suspended his passport on the request of Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The ED had sought revocation of the passport of Mallya after his failure to appear before the agency thrice in connection with its money laundering probe in the Rs 900 crore IDBI bank loan fraud case.
The agency had written to the Ministry of External Affairs to take action under the Passport Act, 1967 and ask the Regional Passport Office (RPO) here to revoke the diplomatic passport of the Rajya Sabha MP as he has turned out to be "un-cooperative" with its investigators probing the criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at its zonal office in Mumbai.
The agency, it is understood, has also cited various pending court cases against Mallya in connection with alleged loan de-frauds and dishonouring of cheques. This is what MEA, India tweeted on the temporary suspension of Mallya's diplomatic passport:
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) April 15, 2016
It is understood that Mallya left the country for the United Kingdom on March 2 using a diplomatic passport issued by the Delhi RPO to him by virtue of him being a sitting Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament.