Vijay Mallya,the boss of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, was arrested by Scotland Yard in London days after India requested Britain to extradite the ‘international businessman’. The liquor baron was arrested at about 9.30 am London local time and was taken to Westminster court.
India had in February asked the UK to extradite Mr Mallya, who is facing charges of money laundering and several arrest warrants in the country. CBI sources counted the arrest, which took place around 9.30 in the morning, as a big win in attempts to bring the liquor baron to justice.
Last month, the British government certified India’s request and sent it to a district judge for further action.
Sources on Tuesday reported that Mallya has been produced in a local court in the UK and will soon be handed over to India.
Mallya has avoided several summon notices from Indian courts. Despite multiple injunctions, he has failed to appear before investigators at the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Earlier in January this year, a CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in the Rs 720-crore IDBI Bank loan default case.
Mallya is facing heat over Rs 9,000 crore loan default by his now defunct Kingfisher airlines, after fleeing to the UK on March 2 last year. He left the country just as the Supreme Court ordered him to appear before it in person with his passport on March 30, 2016.
Mallya has since offered to negotiate with the banks for a one-time settlement of dues and sought the Supreme Court’s intervention.Banks had previously shot down Mallya’s offer of Rs 6,868 crore in April 2016 to settle the dues.
Last week, a Delhi court had issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against the liquor baron in case of alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).
No high-profile extradition has taken place from the UK to India since a treaty was signed in 1993, though India has extradited a number of Britons, including Maninderpal Singh, convicted of raping and murdering a British teenager, who had fled to India.
In the UK, extradition involves several steps, most of which are time-barred, but allow several tiers of appeal. Once the Secretary of State has certified that the matter can go to court, and if the court is satisfied that enough information has been supplied, an arrest warrant can be issued. After the person has been arrested he is brought before the court and the judge sets a date for the extradition hearing.The hearing must satisfy the judge that the conduct of the individual amounts to an extradition offence. This must then be sent to the Secretary of State for a decision.