Centre tell SC that it is working on to bring offender Mallya to India

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday sought to know from the Centre regarding the details of the confidential proceedings pending in the United Kingdom for extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to India, asking when would Mallya appear before the Apex Court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of Centre, appraised the bench of Justices U U Lalit and Ashok Bhushan that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has raised the issue of extradition of Mallya with the UK government and the Centre is taking all serious efforts in this regard.

“Extradition cannot take place until a legal issue that needed to be resolved under United Kingdom law,” the SG submitted.

“In December 2020, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar raised the issue with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and most recently in January 2021, the Home Secretary of India raised it with the UK Permanent Under Secretary of Home. UK’s response remained the same,” the SG said

The Centre had earlier also submitted before the top court that Mallya, the chairman of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, cannot be extradited to the country until a separate “secret” legal process in the UK, which is “judicial and confidential in nature is resolved”.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on March 15, after the SG sought some time to file status report in the matter.

During the course of hearing, Mr Mehta also shared a letter from the MEA quoting excerpts from the UK government’s communication, on the status of extradition process of the fugitive businessman.

In order to get conclusion of proceedings pending in the UK, the bench asked a time-frame in the matter, in which the SG submitted that no information about it received from the London High Commission.

“As it is judicial in nature, the issue is confidential and you will understand that Her Majesty’s government cannot provide any more details”, the official letter read.

The bench took the letter on record.

Mallya, an accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore has been in the UK since March 2016. He is on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.

On August 31, 2020 the Apex Court had directed Mallya to appear before it on October 5 while dismissing his plea seeking review of the 2017 verdict which held him guilty of contempt for transferring USD 40 million to his children in violations of court orders.

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