New Delhi: Vijay Mallya wants to return to India but he is “incapacitated” to travel despite his “best intentions” as his passport has been revoked by the Indian authorities, the liquor baron’s counsel told a city court on Friday.
Mallya, who is currently in London, made the submission through his counsel before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass in a case lodged against him for allegedly evading summons in a FERA violation matter, adding he was “making all efforts to have the revocation of passport set aside.” On 9 July, the court had cancelled the exemption from personal appearance granted to him and directed him to appear before it on Friday.
The counsel moved an application before the court seeking exemption for Mallya from personal appearance for Friday and submitted the copy of an email sent by the him to his lawyer. “I request you (counsel) to kindly convey to the judge that I have the utmost respect for his authority and towards the judicial system of the country, in general. “However, in the given circumstances, despite my best intentions to obey the order of the judge, I find myself incapacitated to travel to India, at this moment; even though I am making all the efforts to have the said revocation of my passport set aside,” Mallya’s email read.
In the plea seeking exemption from personal appearance for Mallya, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta said “it is humbly submitted before this court that on 15 April, to the utter shock and surprise of the present accused (Mallya), his passport came to be suspended by the Indian Passport Authority.” “Thereafter, on 23 April, without even affording a personal hearing, which was duly requested, his Passport was revoked by the said authority,” the application claimed. It further claimed that “ever since the revocation of his Passport, the present accused has been staying in London and is not in possession of any requisite Travel Document, which could possibly enable him to travel to India.”
Advocate NK Matta, appearing for Enforcement Directorate (ED), however, told the court that Mallya was evading proceedings in several other cases and sought time to reply to the plea moved by him on Friday. Court has now put up the matter for further proceedings on 4 October while seeking ED’s response on Mallya’s exemption application by next date of hearing.