Vijay Mallya’s defence team trying to delay extradition: Rijiju

Rijiju raised several issues with his UK counterparts during his visit to London, including visas, return of illegal migrants and anti-India activities by “fringe” elements in the Sikh community.

world Updated: Jan 12, 2018 19:47 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
India-UK relations,Kiren Rijiju,Vijay Mallya
India’s minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju at the Parliament house in New Delhi on December 14, 2016.(AP)

The legal team representing controversial Indian businessman Vijay Mallya has been raising issues to delay his extradition case though India is receiving excellent cooperation from UK authorities on this issue, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said here on Friday.

Rijiju raised several issues with his counterparts during his visit to London, including visas, return of illegal migrants, anti-India activities by what he described as “fringe” elements in the Sikh community, and Indian women being abandoned or divorced by their UK partners.

“The Mallya case is going in the right direction but the defence side is raising issues to delay matters. We also discussed pending cases of 14 individuals wanted by India and 12 others wanted by British authorities from India,” he told reporters.

He denied the Indian side was ill-prepared in the case. Mallya’s defence team on Thursday raised severalquestions at the Westminster magistrates courton the quality and admissibility of several documents submitted by India, manyallegedly worded according to a template, including similar typos in them.

Rijiju and UK’s new immigration minister Caroline Nokes finalised the text of two memoranda of understanding to be signed during the April visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One MoU is on the return of illegal Indians in the UK and the other on the exchange of criminal records.

British authorities, he said, had responded positively to India’s concerns over some UK-based groups trying to“foment their ill-designed agenda”. Khalistan is no longer an issue in India but “fringe” elements abroad were trying to defame India, he added.

“They (British authorities) have been prompt. They will take care of such elements (and) will see that anti-India acts are not encouraged in the UK. We – India and the UK – are very important to each other,” he said.

During the talks with Nokes, Rijiju raised the issue of extending to India a UK visa pilot in China that offers cheaper and longer duration visas. The visa issue was also raised by minister for commerce and industry Suresh Prabhu, who too is visiting London. Prabhu mentioned thecost and ease of getting UKvisas for businesspersons during his meeting with secretary for international trade Liam Fox.

Securities minister Ben Wallace was interested in learning from India about dealing with Islamic radicalisation, and how even though India has the second largest Muslim population, there were “negligible” instances of Indians joining the Islamic State, Rijiju said.

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 19:46 IST