Mallya tracked to mansion near London, opposition irate

Vijay Mallya, wanted by the Supreme Court of India, has been tracked to his country villa in Tiwen village on the outskirts of London, where locals confirmed his presence to Times Now news channel.

The government had on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that the industrialist, declared a 'wilful defaulter' by lender banks to his failed Kingfisher Airlines, had left the country on 2 March. The court then issued notices to Mallya and KFA, among others, while allowing the banks to serve the notice through the Indian mission in London.

There were heated exchanges in parliament today on the issue, with the Congress party criticising the BJP-led NDA government for not arresting Mallya and allowing him to leave the country.

Leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said Mallya is not a small instrument like a needle, which cannot be seen from a distance.

''He can be seen from a distance of 1 km. I accuse this government as to why was Vijay Mallya not arrested? Why was his passport not seized?" he asked.

Another Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also targeted the government on the issue.

"The question is not about who gave loans to Mallya, the question is why was he allowed to leave India. Why was Vijay Mallya allowed to leave the country?" he asked.

However, finance minister Arun Jaitley led a counter-attack, saying that it was under the UPA regime that Mallya went abroad and a case was registered under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Speaking in the upper house, he said that the Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into the matter.

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to Mallya on a plea filed by a consortium of 13 public sector banks headed by the State Bank of India. The lenders had moved the apex court to prevent Mallya from leaving the country and impounding his passport.

The notice will be served through the Indian High Commission in London. Based on CBI inputs, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the banks, informed the Supreme Court that Mallya left India on 2 March and could be in the UK.

The apex court has sought Mallya's response to the banks' plea by 30 March which is the next date of hearing.