‘Confidential’ legal issue has to be resolved for Vijay Mallya’s extradition, says UK
Vijay Mallya, 64, is wanted in India to face charges of financial offences involving Rs 9,000 crore borrowed by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines from several Indian banks.Updated: Jun 04, 2020 17:21 IST
Britain said on Thursday a “confidential” legal issue was holding up the extradition of businessman Vijay Mallya to India but that it is seeking to deal with the matter as quickly as possible.
Mallya, wanted in India to face charges of financial irregularities, lost his appeal against the 2018 order to extradite him in the UK high court in April. Last month, the high court also refused Mallya permission to appeal in the UK Supreme Court.
Amid a string of reports in the Indian media that Mallya’s extradition was imminent, a spokesperson for the British high commission said there was still a legal issue of a confidential nature that needs to be resolved before the businessman could be sent back to India.
“Vijay Mallya last month lost his appeal against extradition, and was refused leave to appeal further to the UK Supreme Court,” the spokesperson said.
“However, there is a further legal issue that needs resolving before Mr Mallya’s extradition can be arranged. Under United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. The issue is confidential and we cannot go into any detail,” the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson declined to “estimate how long this issue will take to resolve”, and said: “We are seeking to deal with this as quickly as possible.”
Mallya, 64, is wanted in India to face charges of financial offences involving Rs 9,000 crore borrowed by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines from several Indian banks.
Senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot had issued the ruling for Mallya’s extradition to India in December 2018 in response to a request from the Indian government, which has accused him of “knowingly misrepresenting” the profitability of his companies when he sought bank loans in 2009.
UK home secretary Priti Patel is expected to make a final decision on his extradition.
The UK high court, in its ruling in April, had upheld the senior district judge’s verdict. When the UK high court refused Mallya permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court on May 14 on the ground that his case didn’t involve a “point of law of general public importance”, the long-drawn extradition process was believed to have entered the last stage.
Mallya, who was arrested in London in April 2017, had the option of approaching the European Court of Human Rights on the ground his human rights would be at risk if extradited. The UK remains subject to the jurisdiction of the European court until the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.