India, UK hold talks on Vijay Mallya extradition
New Delhi: Just a month before business tycoon Vijay Mallya’s extradition hearings are set to begin in London’s Metropolitan Magistrates’ Court, India and the UK held talks to close loopholes in the immigration and extradition process on Monday.
Indian minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju and the UK’s minister of state for immigration Brandon Lewis headed the two delegations at the talks.
India is currently pushing for the extradition of Mallya, who flew to the UK in March last year as lenders closed in on him to recover the money owed by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.
Both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have accused Mallya of money laundering. Extradition hearings are set to begin on 4 December.
“The discussions covered a variety of important issues ranging from cooperation in matters of immigration, tackling extremism, extradition, cyber crimes, sharing of criminal records and social security for Indian workers returning from the UK,” a senior home ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Rijiju reiterated India’s other existing extradition requests at the talks with the UK.
“While seeking cooperation of the UK government in expediting India’s 13 extradition requests, Rijiju also assured the visiting minister of full cooperation on behalf of the Indian government in the extradition of Mohammad Abdul Shakur, who is wanted in the UK on murder charges,” the ministry official added.
The UK, however, “in recent weeks” rejected India’s request for the extradition of a UK-based bookie as well as an Indian couple, who are wanted in two other separate cases, PTI reported.
The British high commission had no immediate comment on the matter.
Only one person—Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel in 2012—has been extradited by the UK to India since the signing of an extradition treaty in 1992.