New Delhi: Expel Vijay Mallya from the Rajya Sabha with immediate effect, the Ethics Committee of the upper house of Parliament recommended on Wednesday and hoped that this would send out a strong message. Committee members were of the view that loans defaulter Mallya’s actions are “unbecoming” of a Rajya Sabha MP.
“The Committee hopes that by taking such stern action, a message would reach the general public that Parliament is committed to take such steps as are necessary against erring members to uphold the dignity and prestige of this great institution,” the Committee on Ethics said in its 10th report tabled in the Upper House by its chairman Karan Singh.
The Upper House will now take a call on the recommendation made by the ethics committee in the report. Mallya has defaulted on more than Rs 9,000 crores in loanstaken from 17 banks. He left India on March 2 and is believed to be in the UK. After failing to appear for three consecutive summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the external affairs ministry also revoked Mallya’s diplomatic passport.
“Having considered the whole matter, including Dr Mallya’s letter, the Committee on Ethics unanimously decided at its meeting on May 3 to recommend to the House that Vijay Mallya be expelled with immediate effect,” it said.
“The committee was of the firm view that taking into consideration the gravity of the misconduct, a sanction not less than termination of membership from the House is warranted under the circumstances,” the report said.
On Tuesday, Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari turned down Mallya’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha on procedural grounds. Mallya had sent a scanned copy of his resignation, presumably from Britain, to Ansari in a bid to avoid expulsion saying he did not want his “name and reputation to be further dragged in mud”.
However, Mallya was informed that his resignation letter did not conform to prescribed procedures and did not bear his signature in the original. The Ethics Committee headed by Karan Singh also pointed out the “wrong procedure” while rejecting Mallya’s resignation.
The panel members also expressed dissatisfaction with his reply about his loan default. Last week, the Ethics Committee had sent a notice to Mallya informing him about its decision on expulsion and gave him a week’s time to explain his position.