Indian parliament accepts Mallya’s resignation

Vijay Mallya has seen his empire crumble
Vijay Mallya has seen his empire crumble

India’s parliament on Wednesday accepted Vijay Mallya’s resignation of his seat, after the embattled liquor tycoon resubmitted his letter in line with the correct procedures.

The 60-year-old multimillionaire left India for Britain on March 2 owing more than £1 billion in unpaid loans, and is being investigated by India’s financial crimes agency.

The government has revoked his passport and asked Britain to deport him, but Mallya told the Financial Times last week he had no plans to leave and wanted to reach a “reasonable” settlement with Indian banks.

Mallya had resigned from his seat in parliament’s upper house—or the Rajya Sabha—Monday but his resignation was rejected after chairman Hamid Ansari raised doubts over the veracity of his letter sent from Britain.

Ansari’s spokesman Gurdeep Singh Sappal confirmed Wednesday that Mallya’s resignation had been accepted.

“Hamid Ansari… accepts resignation of Vijay Mallya, resubmitted unconditionally and as per correct procedure,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Second resignation letter was sent in original. SG (solicitor general) confirmed from Mallya that resignation tendered was genuine, voluntary and unconditional.”

Last month, the Rajya Sabha’s ethics committee had recommended his expulsion from parliament over huge bank defaults.

On Monday, Mallya said in his letter that he did not want his name to be “further dragged in the mud” and called the accusations against him “false and baseless”.

Critics say the government has not done enough to tackle the issue of wealthy individuals such as Mallya, once dubbed the King of Good Times for his lavish lifestyle, failing to repay bank loans.

The debts relate to Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, which shut down in 2012 having never made a profit.

Last month an Indian court issued an arrest warrant for him after he repeatedly failed to appear before investigators looking into Kingfisher’s finances.

A two-time independent MP, he also ran a liquor empire and is a part-owner of the Force India Formula 1 team. His Twitter profile now describes him as a “former member of parliament”.