NEW DELHI: India’s request for extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya for defaulting on multi-crore bank loans here has entered UK’s legal system and is awaiting a district court’s approval for issuance of his arrest warrant.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday that the extradition request has been approved by the UK’s Secretary of State. India had handed over a formal extradition request on Feb 8.
“The UK Home Office, London vide their Note Verbale dated Feb 21, 2017 has conveyed that the request has been certified by the Secretary of State and sent to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a District Judge to consider issuing an arrest warrant,” MEA Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in his statement.
Mallya, who earned the moniker of “the King of Good Items”, owes more than Rs. 8,000 crore to Indian Public sector banks. So far the banks have been able to recover a fraction of it.
According to the Finance Minstry, Mallya has an outstanding loan of Rs. 8,000 crore and banks have recovered Rs. 155 crore by conducting online mega auction from the seized property of the beleaguered business tycoon. With the government showing the willingness to go after him, the owner of now defunct Kingfisher Airlines have offered to negotiate a one-time settlement charge on the loan default.
Last year, the UK government had refused to deport Mallya after his Indian passport was revoked by the government to bring him back to India to face money laundering charges against him. A non-bailable warrant has been issued against his name in India. When British Prime Minister Theresa May visited India in November 2016, Mallya’s name figured in the list of 60 people whose extradition was India seeking.