Business tycoon Vijay Mallya, wanted by Indian authorities in several money laundering cases, made a public appearance after months on Friday, showing up at a Formula One track in Silverstone, United Kingdom for the British Grand Prix. Mallya, who owes a consortium of banks Rs 9,000 crore, owns F1 team Force India. Mallya had left India for the UK in March. In April, his diplomatic passport was revoked by the Indian government, after a Mumbai court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
Speaking to Reuters, the owner of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines said he would not return to India unless he was “assured of a fair trial, if at all there needs to be a trial”. He also questioned why he needed to return, and claimed he could answer any questions law enforcement authorities had via video conference.
Mallya claimed he missed the F1 circuit, and had thus returned adding that “life must go on”, NDTV reported. He also talked about having more time on his hands now and being able to adopt a “regulated life” and a new fitness regime.
A number of Indian courts and the Enforcement Directorate have been trying to get Mallya to appear before them for months. However, Mallya has claimed he is in forced exile and refused to return. The Indian government has been unable to have him deported as he has a permanent residency permit permit in the UK. Authorities are now looking into having him extradited.