India revokes passport of drinks tycoon Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Mallya was once dubbed the King of Good Times

India has revoked the passport of business tycoon Vijay Mallya accused of hiding in Britain over huge debts from his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

There is an arrest warrant for Mr Mallya and Delhi says it is considering seeking his deportation from the UK.

The flamboyant businessman is known as India's Richard Branson for his investment in aviation, Formula 1, Indian cricket and the drinks industry.

His debts were triggered by the failure of his Kingfisher Airlines in 2013.

Authorities have given the businessman one week to answer why his passport should not be impounded or revoked.

He is believed to have some $1.4bn (£1bn) of unpaid debts after the collapse of the airline and is thought be in the UK.

Mr Mallya has dismissed allegations that he left India because of the outstanding debt and also criticised his "media trial" over the issue.

Image copyright Twitter

In March, he was blocked from receiving $75m severance pay from British drinks giant Diageo.

The heavily indebted businessman was due to receive the money after being ousted from the firm in February.

But a consortium of banks and creditors had demanded the money should be used to settle some of Mr Mallya's outstanding debt to them.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kingfisher Airlines was grounded in 2012

Earlier this month a consortium of 17 banks, led by the State Bank of India, rejected a proposal by Vijay Mallya to pay 40bn Indian rupees ($600m; £416.4m) by September, to settle his loans. The group said the offer was inadequate and subject to too many conditions.

Following the rejection, the Supreme Court in New Delhi then asked the businessman to make a full disclosure of his assets.

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