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SC seeks status report from Centre on extradition of Vijay Mallya within 6 weeks

India has been pressing the UK to extradite Mallya after he lost his appeals in the British Supreme Court in MayPremium
India has been pressing the UK to extradite Mallya after he lost his appeals in the British Supreme Court in May

  • In June, India urged the UK not to consider any request for asylum by Mallya as there appeared to be no ground for his persecution in the country
  • Mallya, an accused in bank loan default case of over 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, has been in the UK since March 2016

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday asked the Centre to file status report in six weeks on the proceedings pending in the United Kingdom for extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to India.

The Centre had on October 5 told the apex court that Mallya cannot be extradited to India until a separate “secret" legal process in the United Kingdom, which is “judicial and confidential in nature is resolved".

A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Ashok Bhushan asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to file status report in the matter in six weeks and posted it for hearing in the first week of January next year.

The bench also refused to accept the plea of advocate E C Agarwala, who has been appearing for Mallya in the apex court, seeking discharge from the case.

India has been pressing the UK to extradite Mallya after he lost his appeals in the British Supreme Court in May against his extradition to India to face money laundering and fraud charges.

"Now, we have been told that there is a secret legal matter and that his extradition cannot take place without its resolution... We are in touch with the UK government," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing last month

In June, India urged the UK not to consider any request for asylum by Mallya as there appeared to be no ground for his persecution in the country.

The UK government had indicated that Mallya is unlikely to be extradited to India anytime soon, saying there is a legal issue that needed to be resolved before his extradition can be arranged.

Mallya, an accused in bank loan default case of over 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, has been in the UK since March 2016. He is on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.

On August 31, the top court had directed Mallya to appear before it on October 5 while dismissing his plea seeking review of the 2017 verdict which held him guilty of contempt for transferring USD 40 million to his children in violations of court orders.

During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing on Monday, the solicitor general told the bench that Agarwala has filed an application from discharge from the case.

“This is aggravating the matter. We have filed an affidavit saying that there are some proceedings going on which is confidential in nature. Without that legal issue being resolved extradition can not be done," Mehta said.

“The application seeking discharge is rejected and advocate E C Agarwala will continue to appear for the contemnor on the matter," the bench said in its order.

When the bench asked Mehta about time-frame of proceeding pending in the UK, the Solicitor General said they have no information about it from the London High Commission.

He sought six-week time to file status report on the issue.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, in its affidavit filed earlier in the contempt case in which Mallya has been held guilty, said that the pending legal issue in the UK is “outside and apart from the extradition process" and is “confidential and cannot be disclosed".

The bench had last month asked Mallya's lawyer to apprise the apex court by November 2, what kind of "secret" proceedings are going on to extradite him.

The Centre had given details of the extradition proceedings against Mallya starting from February 9, 2017 till dismissal of his appeal on May 14 and said that the fugitive businessman has thus exhausted all avenues of appeal in the United Kingdom.

The Centre had said that following the refusal of leave to appeal, Mallya’s surrender to India should, in principle, have been completed within 28 days but “the UK home office intimated that there is a further legal issue which needs to be resolved before Vijay Mallya’s extradition may take place".

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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