The British government has informed India of the fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya cannot be extradited until the “secret legal issues” associated with it are resolved, the Center told the Supreme Court on Monday, reporting Hindu.
On the two previous occasions at October and November also, the Center has notified the Supreme Court of pending trials in the UK. During Monday’s hearing, Attorney General Tushar Mehta submitted a letter from the foreign ministry, explaining the British government’s communications on the matter, according to the PTI.
The letter quoted the British government as saying there were “further legal issues” that had to be resolved before Mallya could be extradited, Hindu reported. However, the British government declined to provide details of the process or reveal how long it would take to resolve the issue.
However, Britain has assured that it is “trying to deal with this matter as quickly as possible”, according to a letter from the foreign ministry. Mehta also said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was doing its best, but Mallya’s status remains the same today, reports PTI.
The Panel of Judges of the Lalit Law and Ashok Bhushan are hearing the case of insult in which Mallya was found guilty. On August 31, 2020, the Supreme Court directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that Mallya was present before him on October 5 last year. It also rejected Mallya’s plea calling for a reconsideration of a 2017 ruling that left her guilty of insulting transfer of $ 40 million to her children in violation of a court order.
However, on October 5, Center has said it is not aware of the ongoing secret process against Mallya in the UK because the Indian government is not a party to the process. Then in November, the Center reiterated that extradition was postponed due to “secret legal matters”. The court then asked the Center to file a status report on the matter. On Monday, the court posted its next trial for the humiliation case on March 15, after Mehta requested time to file another report on Mallya’s extradition status.
The liquor baron, who fought it extradition to India, is facing charges of fraud and money laundering in a bank loan default of more than Rs 9,000 crore as a result of the collapse of the defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
As of February 2017, India has filed a request for extradition to Great Britain after Mallya made it clear he wasn’t coming back. In July 2019, the United Kingdom High Court allowed it challenging his extradition order.
Mallya has repeatedly denied the charges against him and offered to repay 100% of the amount borrowed by Kingfisher Airlines, but neither the bank nor the Enforcement Directorate were willing to accept the offer. He also claimed that the charges against him were related to borrowing only Rs 900 crore.