Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 18
The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court (SC) it was making all efforts to extradite fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya from the UK, but the process was taking time due to legal issues involved.
Mallya, an accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, is in the UK since March 2016. He is on bail on an extradition warrant executed by the Scotland Yard in April 2017.
The top court had earlier dismissed his plea seeking review of the 2017 verdict, which held him guilty of contempt for transferring USD 40 million to his children in violation of court orders. On August 31 last year, the top court had directed Mallya to appear before it on October 5, 2020.
On Monday, a Bench headed by Justice UU Lalit deferred hearing for March 15 after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought time to file a report on Mallya’s extradition.
Mehta shared a Ministry of External Affairs letter written to him on the status of extradition of Mallya and said the MEA had raised the issue with the UK, and the Indian Government was making all efforts to bring back the fugitive.
The letter stated that the MEA had been informed by the UK Government that there was a legal issue that needed to be resolved before Mallya could be extradited to India.
It said: “Under the United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. As the issue is judicial in nature, it is confidential and you will understand that Her Majesty’s government cannot provide any more details. We also cannot estimate how long this issue will take to resolve. Her Majesty’s government fully understands the importance of this case to the Government of India. I can reassure that we are seeking to deal with the issue as quickly as possible.”