Britain might fast-track India’s request to extradite former liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who owes 17 banks more than Rs 9,000 crore. Mallya has been in the United Kingdom since March 2016 and has said he will not come back, despite him having to appear in court for several cases.
Indian and UK officials had meetings for two days regarding deportation cases and pending requests to extradite people from the two countries, The Times of India reported. The chief os Britain’s UK Central Authority for Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance, the UK Home Office, officials from their High Commission in Delhi and from the Crown Prosecution Service attended the meetings. The report added that an official statement said in the meetings were held to discuss “best practices, and identify the causes of delays and expedite pending requests so that fugitives and criminals should not be allowed to escape the law.”
The ministry of external affairs statement added, “Both sides held detailed and fruitful deliberations on the legal processes and procedures in either country and reviewed the requests for extradition and mutual legal assistance pending on either side.”
According to some reports, British officials also “assured India” that Mallya would be extradited.
On February 9, the MEA had recently submitted an extradition request for Mallya. Mallya is embroiled in a number of cases in India. In November 2016, he was declared an absconder by a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court. The same month, India had asked the UK, where Mallya has been residing since March 2016, to extradite the industrialist under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty as he owes around Rs 9,000 crore to 17 banks in India. On January 31, a special CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya.