India hands over Mallya extradition request to UK

India hands over Mallya extradition request to UK

India on Thursday formally requested the United Kingdom to extradite business tycoon Vijay Mallya so that he could be tried for loan default and money laundering.

The Ministry of External Affairs gave the British High Commission in New Delhi all documents in connection with the request for extradition of Mallya, who left India on March 2 last year and has since been living in the UK.

The move came just about a fortnight after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a charge sheet against him in a court in Mumbai, accusing him of committing fraud and hatching a criminal conspiracy to secure more than Rs 950 crore as loan from IDBI Bank for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. “We have today handed over the request for his extradition, as received from the CBI, to the UK High Commission in New Delhi. We have requested the UK side to extradite him to face trial in India,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Thursday.

Mallya is also being probed for defaulting on loans of over Rs 9,400 crore.
He left the country for the UK on the day a consortium of 13 banks, which had lent to his company, moved the Debt Recovery Tribunal to step up pressure on him to return the money.

The government first suspended the liquor baron’s passport and then revoked it in April 2016, as it had found his reply to a notice served by the MEA unsatisfactory.

New Delhi had first asked the British government to deport Mallya, “the king of good times” as he was once known.

But the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British government informed New Delhi that Britain’s 1971 Immigration Act “did not require” an individual to hold “a valid passport in order to remain in the UK if they had extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter the UK was conferred”.

The UK then advised India to seek extradition of the flamboyant tycoon, instead of insisting on deportation.

The CBI charge sheet against Mallya set the grounds for India to seek his extradition. India and the UK have an extradition treaty that dates back to 1993.

New Delhi, however, may have to wait long to get Mallya back to India, as the extradition request will go through several legal processes in the UK.

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