Britain has told India that it cannot deport Vijay Mallya, who is facing money laundering charges in the country, but could consider an extradition request for him.
The UK government’s response came nearly a fortnight after India made a request for the deportation of Mallya, whose Indian passport was revoked in a bid to secure his presence for investigations against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said he was not surprised by the UK government’s stand but the government is working on the deportation process.
Similar stand has been taken by Britain earlier too: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha on #VijayMallya— ANI (@ANI_news) May 11, 2016
“What I have learnt so far is that deportation can’t be allowed if someone entered UK through valid passport and then its cancelled.Another alternative process, is that when chargesheet is filed after investigation, then extradition has to be demanded,” Jaitley said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday .
According to a statement by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup, “the UK Government has informed that under the 1971 Immigration Act, the UK does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in the UK if they have extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter the UK was conferred.”
However, the UK has acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations and has expressed its keenness to assist India in the matter and have asked the government to consider requesting mutual legal assistance or extradition.
What is the difference between deportation and extradition?
Deportation is basically a done at the government level through executive order after vetting the evidence produced by a country where the fugitive is required for any offence he or she may have committed there. But extradition is a formal process wherein evidence against a fugitive is produced before the court for vetting. In extradition, a judicial decision is taken for sending back a fugitive to the country where he or she is required to face law. It is normally a longer process than deportation .
The extradition can happen under the 1993 treaty or any other necessary assistance under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) signed in 1992 between India and the UK.
However, India was hoping to get the liquor baron, who is facing arrest over allegations of defaulting bank loans of over Rs 9,400 crore, through the expeditious route of deportation and not go through the lengthy process of extradition.
Earlier, the Patiala House court issued a notice to Mallya on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), seeking to withdraw the exemption granted to him from personal appearance in a case of allegedly evading summons in connection with purported violation of the Foreign Exchange Rules.
The court has sought Mallya’s response by May 20.
The ED plea also sought issuance of a non-bailable warrant against the chairman of defunct Kingfisher Airlines to secure his presence in the ongoing trial of the case.
Mallya, currently in Britain, is accused of defaulting on payment of bank loans totalling Rs. 9, 000 crore.
The Centre had earlier revoked Mallya’s diplomatic passport and told the Supreme Court that it would soon initiate court proceedings and approach the British Government for his extradition.
The Enforcement Directorate last month obtained a non-bailable warrant against Mallya from a Mumbai court in a money laundering case.