Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Navtej Sarna earlier this week walked out of a book launch event attended by Vijay Mallya, the businessman who has been declared a proclaimed offender by Indian authorities.

The event was held on June 16 by the Hundred Foot Journey Club of the South Asia Centre at the London School of Economics (LSE) to release Mantras for Success: India’s Greatest CEOs Tell You How to Win, by author Suhel Seth and journalist Sunny Sen. Mr. Sarna was invited as part of a panel to discuss the book.

Mr. Mallya was seen walking in and sitting at the back of the Old Theatre auditorium with his daughter as the function began. “Mr. Mallya was not invited by LSE or the High Commission but he came just before the start.The Indian High Commissioner left as soon as he saw him,” one of the organisers told The Hindu, adding, “This was a public event, and was widely advertised on social media.” A High Commission spokesperson confirmed Mr. Mallya’s presence at the function and the High Commissioner's departure upon seeing him in the audience. Neither was Mr. Mallya invited nor present at a subsequent reception at the High Commission, he added.

MEA clarification

The Ministry of External Affairs has also clarified that Mr Mallya was not an invitee at the event.

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