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External Affairs Ministry awaits ED notice to officially extradite Mallya

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018

Vijay Mallya

UK refuses to deport liquor baron

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is planning to push the British government to extradite liquor baron Vijay Mallya even as it awaits a notice from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after the UK’s refusal to deport him.

India was so far “hopeful” that the British government will heed its request for deportation of Mallya, as that process is quicker than extradition.

However, the MEA, which is empowered to send the extradition request to the UK, has to now depend on the ED to officially make the move, according to official sources.

This can be done under the India-UK Extradition Treaty that was signed in 1993. But the process will not be that smooth as an extradition request cannot be made without a charge-sheet.

As per the norms, an extradition request for a fugitive can be initiated only after a charge-sheet has been filed before a court, which will have to take cognizance of the case. Besides, all extradition requests should be supported by solid documents and information.

India is also contemplating further action on Mallya based on the 1992 Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).

“As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, the UK will neither confirm nor deny that an extradition request has been made or received until such time as an arrest has been made in relation to that request,” a UK Home Office Press Office spokesperson told BusinessLine over e-mail.

On Wednesday, the UK officially communicated to India that it will be not be deporting Mallya, who is wanted in India for defaulting on loans over ₹9,400 crore and is facing arrest.

“The UK government has informed us that under the 1971 Immigration Act, the country does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in the UK if he/she has extant leave to remain as long as his/her passport is valid,” said MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Wednesday.

The British government has, however, stated that they acknowledge the “seriousness” of the matter and has, therefore, asked the Indian authorities to seek mutual legal assistance or request for extradition.

The request to deport Mallya was made by India to the UK in April.

As a result, the government had also revoked his passport.

Published on May 11, 2016

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