Updated: October 6, 2020 10:19:37 am
Businessman Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India will have to wait until some “confidential” proceedings in this connection are completed in the UK. On Monday, the Centre informed the Supreme Court bench of Justices U U Lalit and Ashok Bhushan, which had asked him to appear before it in connection with a contempt case, that there were some “secret” proceedings going on in the UK, but the Government of India does not have knowledge about it as it is not a party to the process and the UK side has not shared any details.
In a status report filed before the court, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that the extradition request for Mallya was forwarded to the UK on February 9, 2017. In December 2018, Senior District Judge, Westminster Magistrate’s Court, London recommended his extradition to India. Mallya challenged this before the London High Court, which dismissed it on April 20, 2020. He then moved the HC seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. However, the high court rejected the request on May 14, 2020.
Thus, Mallya exhausted all legal remedies and his surrender to India must have happened in 28 days’ time. But the UK Home Office then intimated that “there is a further legal issue” which needs to be resolved before his “extradition may take place”.
The UK side said that “this issue is outside and apart from the extradition process, but it has the effect that under the United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. The High Commission was further informed that the issue is confidential and so it cannot be declared.”
The bench asked the counsel appearing for Mallya what the “secret” proceedings are but he said he was not aware.
Adjourning the matter to November 2, the court asked the counsel to apprise it about this on that date.
The top court had held Mallya guilty of contempt on two counts — for disobeying its order asking him to fully disclose his assets and for violating the Karnataka High Court order restraining him from alienating his assets —in May 9, 2017.
The court found that he had not disclosed the fact of receipt of $40 million in his account and transferring it to his children.
On August 31, 2020, the SC dismissed his petition which sought review of this order and asked him to appear before it at 2 pm on Monday.
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