In yet another step to secure the presence of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the Enforcement Directorate  obtained a non-bailable warrant against him from a Special Court here. The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier suspended Mr. Mallya’s passport on the ED’s advice.

Special Judge P.R. Bhavake, hearing a plea by the ED, ordered that the warrant would be issued in a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The businessman, who left the country in the midst of efforts by a consortium of banks to recover dues from Kingfisher Airlines, did not appear before the agency in response to summons on three occasions.

A highly placed source in the ED told “The order copy by the court will be ready and signed on April 19, but because that day is a court holiday, the non-bailable warrant against Mr. Mallya will be issued on April 20.”

Advocate Hiten Venegavkar, representing the ED, said Mr. Mallya was summoned thrice for his statement to be recorded, but he repeatedly failed to appear before the ED. Hence, it was seeking a warrant against him.

ED officials said they would seek a Look Out Circular at all airports and ports in India in Mr. Mallya’s name on the basis of the NBW. The ED would also approach Interpol for issue of a Red Notice against him.

The ED’s case is based on the FIR registered by the CBI against Mr. Mallya and other unknown officials of the Mumbai-based IDBI for causing a loss of Rs. 900 crore to the public sector bank.