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Will explore all legal options to bring Mallya back: MEA

Will explore all legal options to bring Mallya back: MEA
A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) approached the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s deportation, the Ministry on Friday said that it was considering all the options to bring him back.

“We are considering legal experts,” foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters when asked about the request made by the ED to deport Mallya. “The government is committed to bring him back to face justice, currently we are in the process of consulting various agencies,” Swarup added.

Earlier on Thursday, the ED had moved the MEA to secure Mallya’s deportation from the UK in connection with a Rs 900 crore money laundering case concerning an IDBI bank loan. The liquor baron had been summoned by ED thrice, but the he missed deadlines on all the three occasions. 

A Mumbai court issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya on ED’s plea, clearing way for a red corner alert to be issued by Interpol against him.

Noting that the ministry had been approached by the ED which informed about the non-bailable arrest warrant issued against Mallya, MEA Spokesperson Swarup said a request has been made to initiate steps for the deportation of Mallya to ensure his presence before the lawful authorities to proceed with investigation against him. The ministry was also examining the response provided by Mallya through his lawyer to the show-cause notice asking why his passport should not be impounded or revoked, he said.

Meanwhile, the liquor baron told the Supreme Court that he was prepared to deposit an additional Rs 2,468 crore over and above the earlier offer of Rs 4,400 crore against the demand of Rs 9,000 crore by a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India (SBI). 

Mallya’s earlier offer was rejected after due consideration by the lenders and termed as ‘too little’ and ‘unsatisfactory’.
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