Democracy liberal enough in UK for defaulters to stay: Arun Jaitley on Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya, the chief of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, had moved to Britain in March last year after banks sued him to recover around $1.4 billion owed by the airline.

By: PTI | London | Updated: March 1, 2017 4:03 pm
Arun Jaitley, jaitley, jaitley on mallya, Vijay Mallya, jaitley on britain extradition, jaitley on uk mallya, Jaitley comments on Mallya, Mallya loan case, Mallya loans, Vijay Mallya debt, Jaitley in London, india news, indian express news Arun Jaitley made the comment in an apparent reference to Vijay Mallya. (Source: File Photo)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said democracy is liberal enough in the UK to permit defaulters to stay here and that “normal” needs to be cracked, in an apparent reference to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India for loan default and other cases. Referring to loan default as a major problem that needs to be addressed, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs said India was no longer willing to let defaulters escape the law. “Many thought that when you take loan from the banks, the money need not be re-paid and you can come to London and stay out here…and democracy is liberal enough to permit defaulters to stay here. That normal needs to be cracked,” he said during a session on ‘Transforming India: Vision for the Next Decade’ organised by the London School of Economics’ (LSE) South Asia Centre.

WATCH VIDEO | From Brexit To Mallya, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Discusses Key Issues With His UK Counterpart

“It is the first time that you have strong action being taken. In fact, it has never happened that defaulters are on the run. The fact that they are on the run and their properties are being attached, is a signal that India as a country is sending for the first time. Otherwise, we had learned to live with defaulters,” he said during his ongoing visit to the UK. Mallya, the chief of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, had moved to Britain in March last year after banks sued him to recover around $1.4 billion owed by the airline. Earlier this month, the Indian government formally requested Britain to extradite him to India for standing trial for alleged loan default and money laundering.

India and the UK have an extradition treaty since 1993, under which only one extradition from the UK to India has ever taken place, that of Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel in October, 2016, to stand trial for his alleged role in the 2002 riots in Gujarat. Jaitley refused to confirm if the issue of Mallya’s extradition would feature in his talks with senior British ministers, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Monday and UK Chancellor Philip Hammond on Tuesday. However, senior officials in London had indicated earlier that the issue is likely to be on the agenda.

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  1. A
    Feb 25, 2017 at 5:14 pm
    In other words j aitley and friends have ensured permanent refuge and protection for their friend Mallya in England. After all Mallya Is an NRI and our gujjubhai PM is more than willing to lick NRI posterior.
    1. F
      Feb 25, 2017 at 6:20 pm
      This people are cheaters of the public
      1. P
        Feb 25, 2017 at 11:45 pm
        Confiscate all his property in Banaglore - UB beers, UB towers, his house in Mallaya road. All this when sold in the open market will fetch more than $1 billion. Case closed. The english love those with money. They are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. They will never extradite Vijay Mallaya.
        1. T
          Feb 25, 2017 at 10:31 pm
          Why did the govt not impound Mallya's pport? Why was he allowed to leave India? Before blaming the Brits, look into collusion with the cheaters and Indian authorities.
          1. K
            Feb 25, 2017 at 5:29 pm
            From all accounts we believe Mallya is a fugitive from justice insofar as he has failed to appear in court to respond to criminal charges or questions raised. To top it, he also managed to evade the law by leaving the country. It appears to be more than merely probable that he was able to escape arrest with help from the law enforcement branch or some higher authority in the government. The "liberal" element of U.K is not responsible, it is the lax elements of the government of india that is responsible. Loan default is not the primary concern, but the other more serious charges Mallya faces. Surely, Jaitley is aware of the distinction as he ought to be.
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