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Vijay Mallya cites ‘Indian media hype’ after London arrest, govt says criminals won’t be spared

Vijay Mallya, once called ‘The King of Good Times’, is wanted in India for defaulting on loans. He was arrested and later granted bail in London on Tuesday. India wants his extradition.

india Updated: May 18, 2017 17:54 IST
London/New Delhi
Vijay Mallya,Scotland Yard,Vijay Mallya extradition
Vijay Mallya waves in the paddock during the a practice session of the Indian F1 Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi.(Reuters File)

With the news of his arrest in the UK making headlines on Tuesday, Vijay Mallya said it was an “usual Indian media hype” even as New Delhi asserted it would do everything in its power to bring the business tycoon to justice.

Mallya, declared a proclaimed offender, was arrested in London by Scotland Yard on India’s request for his extradition on fraud charges. The 61-year-old liquor baron is wanted in India for defaulting on loans.

The flamboyant businessman, who once called himself ‘The King of Good Times”, was released on bail a few hours later after being arrested after he appeared at a central London police station.

“Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected,” Mallya tweeted soon after getting the bail.

Back in New Delhi, junior finance minister Santosh Gangwar said: “We will not spare anyone who is within the ambit of law. Criminals will not be spared.”

Mallya appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London in the morning and was seen walking out with his legal team a few hours later after being granted bail.

“It was a voluntary action. He will be out in a few minutes,” said a member of Mallya’s team at the court, without giving any further details of the bail conditions.

Mallya, whose now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, had fled India on March 2, 2016. He has repeatedly dismissed the charges against him.

“Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Extradition Unit this morning arrested a man on an extradition warrant. Vijay Mallya was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud,” the Scotland Yard said.

In January, an Indian court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans.

First Published: Apr 18, 2017 18:22 IST