File photo of Vijay Mallyaat the day three of the 2010 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Vijay Mallya Seeks Exemption From Personal Appearance Citing Passport Revocation 

Vijay Mallya wants to return to India but is unable to travel back since his passport has been revoked by the Indian authorities, Mallya’s lawyers told the Patiala House Court’s Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass on Friday.

He wants to come back but his passport has been revoked. He is seeing how to overturn it. Filed an exemption application and will request the court to give a month’s time to resolve the issue.
Vijay Mallya’s lawyers to Patiala House Court

Mallya’s lawyers made the submission after the trial court judge lifted the exemption given to him from personal appearance in July this year in a case related to violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA). Mallya had evaded repeated summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

“Mallya was living in London at that time (when passport was revoked in April 2016) and he has been a permanent resident of London since three decades. It is humbly submitted that ever since he has been staying in London he is not in possession of requisite documents which could possibly enable him to come back to India,” reads the exemption application filed by Mallya.

In an email to his lawyers on Sepetmber 9, Mallya said, “I have the utmost respect for the judge’s authority and towards the Judicial system of India. However, in given circumstances, despite my best intentions to obey the learned judge’s order I find myself incapacitated to travel to India at this moment even though I am making all efforts to have the said revocation of my passport set aside.”

The ED refuted Mallya’s arguments by saying that non-bailable warrants have been issued against him in several other cases, and he should return to India instead of evading proceedings.

The judge sought ED’s response on Mallya’s exemption application and posted the matter for further hearing on October 4.

The ED had issued summons against Mallya under Section 40 of the FERA Act in relation to Formula 1 transactions with Flavia Briatore of Benetton Formula Ltd. in London. Mallya had signed a contract with Briatore in 1995 to promote the Kingfisher brand. The enforcement agency claimed that he paid 200,000 dollars to the London-based company without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which was a violation of FERA norms.

The investigating agency filed a case against Mallya in 2000 in a lower court, after which charges were framed against him.