Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya is unlikely to be brought back to India soon as the UK government Thursday said there was a “confidential legal issue” that required to be resolved before the extradition could be arranged.
Mallya, who has been based in the UK since March 2016, had lost his appeal in the UK Supreme Court last month against his extradition to India to face charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy, money laundering and diversion of loan funds.
A spokesperson for the UK High Commission said there was still a legal issue of “confidential” nature that needs to be resolved before the businessman could be sent back to India, adding that “we cannot estimate how long this issue will take to resolve.”
“Vijay Mallya last month lost his appeal against extradition, and was refused leave to appeal further to the UK Supreme Court. However, there is a further legal issue that needs resolving before Mallya’s extradition can be arranged,” PTI quoted the spokesperson as saying.
“Under United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. The issue is confidential and we cannot go into any detail. We cannot estimate how long this issue will take to resolve. We are seeking to deal with this as quickly as possible,” the official added.
On May 21, the Ministry of External Affairs said India was in touch with the British government over Mallya’s extradition after he exhausted all legal options against New Delhi’s request to the UK to extradite him.
Explained | The cases against Vijay Mallya
Mallya and his failed venture, Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, have come under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for loan defaults of over Rs 10,000 crore to a consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI).
On April 20, the London High Court had dismissed Mallya’s appeal against a Westminster Magistrates’ Court extradition order that the former Kingfisher Airlines boss had a “case to answer” in the Indian courts.
The embattled businessman had been given 14 days to seek permission to move the Supreme Court, which he did on May 4, and his application was rejected Thursday. Following this, he was set on a 28-day “required period” before he could be extradited to India.
Mallya has denied any wrongdoing. However, since the beginning of the extradition case hearing, Mallya has claimed that he is prepared to repay 100 per cent of the amount borrowed by Kingfisher Airlines to the banks but neither banks were willing to take the money nor the Enforcement Directorate was willing to release his attached assets at the behest of the banks.
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