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Rajya Sabha chairman rejects Mallya's resignation

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 03, 2016 22:44 IST
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Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, facing a case of loan default of over Rs 9,400 crore, is all set to be expelled from the Rajya Sabha as Chairman Hamid Ansari on Tuesday turned down his resignation on procedural grounds.

"Hamid Ansari, Chairman, Rajya Sabha does not accept the resignation of Vijay Mallya. Secretary General, Rajya Sabha writes to Sh. Mallya that his resignation letter does not conform to prescribed procedures and does not bear signature in original.

"As per Rule 213 of RS procedures, the resignation must be voluntary and genuine," Ansari's officer on special duty to Gurdeep Singh Sappal said on Twitter quoting from the secretary general's letter.

From his abode in Britain, Mallya had sent a scanned copy of the resignation to Ansari letter in a bid to avoid expulsion saying he did not want his "name and reputation to be further dragged in mud".

"And since recent events suggest that I will not get a fair trial or justice, I am hereby resigning as a member of the Rajya Sabha with immediate effect," Mallya had said a day before the Ethics panel was all set to recommend his expulsion.

Sources in the Rajya Sabha secretariat said that Mallya's signature was scanned and did not satisfy the rules.

The ethics committee of the Upper House headed by Karan Singh, which met on Tuesday, also pointed to the "wrong procedure" while rejecting the resignation, the sources said.

The panel members also expressed dissatisfaction with his reply about his loan default.

Panel members were of the view that Mallya's action was "unbecoming" of a Rajya Sabha MP.

The sources said the panel will submit its report before the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

A motion has to be introduced in the House and approved by it for termination of the membership of any MP.

This is Mallya's second term in Rajya Sabha and it would have otherwise come to an end on July 1.

After the meeting, panel Chairman Singh, however, declined to divulge the details saying that being the head of the committee it will not be appropriate for him to announce a decision taken in its meeting.

Mallya had on Monday faxed his resignation to Hamid Ansari a day before the ethics committee had to take a decision on recommending his expulsion, an issue which was unanimously decided in the panel's last meeting on April 25.

Pressed further, Karan Singh, however, said the decision that was taken in the meeting today was also unanimous.

Asked whether the panel has any room left now to take up the matter when Mallya has already resigned, Singh said "of course there is room. He is still a member of the House until it (the resignation) is accepted."

In his resignation letter, Mallya had said that he received a letter by panel Chairman Karan Singh regarding "purported default" by Mallya in the "repayment of bank loans", which have "not been reflected" in his declaration of assets and liabilities.

Appending a copy of his reply to Karan Singh, Mallya, had, however, asserted,"the allegations against me are blatantly false and baseless".

"I am shocked that the department of financial services, ministry of finance, government of India has provided factually wrong information to a Parliament committee," he had added.

The committee had sought details of the liabilities on Mallya's airline Kingfisher from 13 banks, which furnished their replies according to which the total liability on Mallya's company is Rs 9431.65 crore. Of this, IDBI's liability alone is Rs 1687.04 crores followed by Punjab National Bank's Rs 1223 crore.

The committee decided to crack the whip on the ground that Mallya never declared these liabilities in the last ten years, which a member is supposed to do annually.

The Enforcement Directorate had a fortnight back written to 17 banks and a clutch of probe agencies to prepare a water-tight case against Mallya who is being probed for money laundering charges in the IDBI alleged loan fraud case. 

In a step closer to initiating his deportation, the government had over a week ago revoked the passport of Mallya who is believed to be in the United Kingdom after leaving India on March 2.

According to rules, a member who intends to resign his seat in the Rajya Sabha has to intimate this in writing under his hand addressed to the chairman, his intention to resign his seat in the council.

If a member hands over the letter of resignation to the chairman personally and informs him that the resignation is voluntary and genuine and the chairman has no information or knowledge to the contrary, the chairman may accept the resignation immediately.

If the chairman receives the letter of resignation either by post or through some other person, the chairman may make such an inquiry as he thinks fit to satisfy himself that the resignation is voluntary and genuine.

If the chairman, after making a summary inquiry either himself or through the agency of the Rajya Sabha secretariat or through such other agency as he may deem fit, is satisfied that the resignation is not voluntary or genuine, he shall not accept the resignation.

A member may withdraw his letter of resignation at any time before it is accepted by the chairman.

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