India has asked the British government to not consider asylum to fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya if requested by him and has been in touch with the British authorities for his early extradition.
“We have been in touch with the UK authorities for early extradition of Vijay Mallya. We have also requested the UK side not to consider his asylum if requested by him,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in an online media briefing on Thursday.
Mallya, who owes about Rs 9,000 crore to Indian banks and has been charged with criminal conspiracy and fraud, was denied permission last month to appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court against an extradition order by the high court in London. Mallya denies the charges against him and is currently on bail.
Britain had said earlier this month that there is “a further legal issue” that needs to be resolved before Mallya’s extradition can be arranged.
“Vijay Mallya last month lost his appeal against extradition and was refused permission to appeal to the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court. However, there is a further legal issue that needs to be resolved before Mr Mallya’s extradition can be arranged,” a British High Commission spokesperson had said last week.
“Under the UK law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. The issue is confidential and we cannot go into details. We cannot estimate how long this issue will take to resolve. We are seeking to deal with this as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson had said.
Mallya was last month denied permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court against a high court order that upheld a 2018 ruling to extradite him to India to face fraud charges resulting from the collapse of his defunct company Kingfisher Airlines.
As per UK’s Extradition Act, an individual has to be extradited with 28 days of an order by a high court or Supreme Court. However, if the individual has made an asylum claim, which refers to an appeal to stay in the UK as a refugee, the extradition cannot be done unless the claim is settled.
While it is not yet clear if Mallya has made an asylum claim, the Indian government wants to bring back the businessman at the earliest.
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