The Centre on Thursday refuted Vijay Mallya's claim that he was unable to return India because his passport had been revoked. Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said the businessman could easily apply for an Emergency Certificate at the nearest Indian Embassy or High Commission to return to India. He explained that this certificate was meant especially to provide an Indian citizen with the required travel documents to return to the country, PTI reported.

Mallya had made the submission at Delhi's Patiala House Court on September 9, claiming that he cannot return to India to face the charges levelled against him because the government had suspended his passport earlier in the year. He also moved an application in the court, seeking a reversal of the ministry's decision to revoke his passport.

The 60-year-old has been accused of money laundering and defaulting on loans worth Rs 9,000 crore. He left India on March 2 after stepping down as chief of United Breweries. He had said earlier that he is unlikely to return to the country. United Breweries recently announced that Mallya will continue as chairman of the company, though the Securities and Exchange Board of India had ruled that wilful defaulters cannot hold board positions at listed companies or raise money from the securities markets.