About two months back, the British authorities initiated the legal process of allowing beleagured businesman Vijay Mallya’s extradition. On February 21, the U.K. Home Office conveyed to Indian officials that the request was certified by the Secretary of State and sent to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a District Judge to consider issuing an arrest warrant.
The Ministry of External Affairs made a formal request to extradite Mr. Mallya through a diplomatic note of request or ‘note verbale’ on February 8.
British legal representatives, at a meeting in February, assured their Indian counterparts of expeditious action on the extradition request. The bilateral meeting was held pursuant to the decision taken during the visit of UK Prime Minister Theresa May to India last November.
During her visit, Ms. May and Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed that the officials dealing with extradition matters from both sides should meet at the earliest to resolve the pending matters. Besides, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also raised the issue during his visit to London.
Mr. Mallya, who along with his companies owed more than Rs.9,000 crore to a consortium of bank s , had flown out of the country in March last year on a diplomatic passport. He was a Rajya Sabha member then. The now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines' promoter refused to come back, despite court intervention, after which the Ministry of External Affairs cancelled his travel documents on the Enforcement Directorate’s plea.
The businessman, who faces multiple litigations, has recourse to several safeguards as provided under the 1993 extradition treaty between the two countries. He can challenge the request in the court there on various grounds.