Mallya seeks court appearance exemption, says can't return to India

New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Friday sought exemption from personal appearance in a court here and said he is unable to return to the country and face trial in a case of alleged violation of foreign exchange rules as the Indian authorities had suspended his passport.

On July 9, the court had asked Mallya to personally appear before it on September 9, after allowing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) plea to withdraw the exemption given to him from personal appearance in the case.

Mallya's counsel Ajay Bhargava moved a plea seeking exemption from personal appearance and told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass that his client is living in London.

Defence counsel apprised the court that Mallya passport had been suspended by Indian passport authorities in April.

On April 23, his passport was revoked without even affording a personal hearing which he had requested for, the court was told.

"... ever since the revocation of his passport, the applicant (Mallya) has been staying in London and is not in possession of any requisite travel document which could possibly enable him to travel to India," Mallya's counsel said.

The counsel said that Mallya had urged the court to allow him to be represented by his lawyer to continue with the final arguments and save the court's precious time.