CBI Says, Change In LoC Against Liquor Baron Mallya An ‘Error’ In Judgment

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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that liquor baron Vijay Mallya was cooperating in the probe and there was no warrant against him still change in a 2015 Lookout Circular (LoC) against him from “detain” to merely informing about his movements was an “error” in judgment.

Three years later, as the controversy surfaced again on Thursday, CBI sources said that when the first LoC was issued on October 12, 2015, Mallya was already abroad.

Upon his return the agency was asked by the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), if Mallya should be detained as sought in the LoC to which the CBI said there was no need to arrest or detain him as he was a sitting MP and there was no warrant against him, they said.

It said the agency only wanted information on his movements, they said. Besides, the probe was in an initial stage and the CBI was collecting documents from the IDBI in the Rs 900 crore loan default case, they said.

The CBI issued a fresh LoC against Mallya in the last week of November, 2015 asking airport authorities across the country to “inform” it about Mallya’s movements, thus replacing its previous circular which had sought detention of the businessman if he attempted to leave the country, they said.

The LoC depends on the issuing authority and, unless it asks the BoI to detain a person or to stop him from boarding a plane, no action is taken. The sources said Mallya travelled abroad in October and returned in November, then made two trips in first and last week of December and also a trip in January, 2016.

In between, he had appeared for questioning thrice since the lookout notices were issued -- once in New Delhi and twice in Mumbai between December 9 and 12, 2015.

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