India expects early extradition of industrialist Vijay Mallya from the UK to face probe in the money laundering case against him after the two countries on Monday agreed not to allow fugitives and criminals escape law and resolved to facilitate outstanding extradition requests.
In talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Theresa May, the issue of extradition requests figured and officials dealing with the issue from both sides were directed to meet at the earliest.
Sources said India expects forward movement in Mallya’s extradition from the UK following the talks. They said the specific issue of Mallya’s extradition had also figured in the talks between the two sides in the run up to the meeting between Modi and May.
Asked whether Mallya issue figured in the talks, Joint Secretary (Europe) in the External Affairs Ministry Randhir Jaiswal referred to the Indo-UK joint statement issued after the discussions which said the two Prime Ministers affirmed their strong commitment to enhancing cooperation under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
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Former IPL boss Lalit Modi is also evading law in India and today’s talks may help Indian authorities to push for his early extradition as well. Both Mallya and Modi, who have made the UK their home, are wanted by the ED in money laundering cases.
“The two leaders agreed that fugitives and criminals should not be allowed to escape the law. They expressed their strong commitment to facilitate outstanding extradition requests from both sides.
“In this context, they directed that the officials dealing with extradition matters from both sides should meet at the earliest to develop better understanding of each countries’ legal processes and requirements; share best practices, and identify the causes of delays and expedite pending requests,” the statement said.
It also said the two leaders agreed that regular interactions between the relevant India-UK authorities would be useful in resolving all outstanding cases expeditiously.
The Enforcement Directorate has already sought issuance of an Interpol red corner notice against Mallya in connection with its money laundering probe against him.
India has asked Britain to hand over 57 wanted people, including Chirstian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal.
17 extradition requests from Britain are pending with Indian authorities