INDIA'S efforts to bring back Vijay Mallya, facing arrest for money laundering, received a set back after the United Kingdom on Wednesday made it clear that the baron could not be deported as per existing laws and asked India to seek his extradition instead.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India would have to initiate an extradition process after filing a chargesheet to bring back the embattled tycoon to recover the Rs 9,400-crore loan given to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. “Cancellation of passport does not result in automatic deportation, that is the stand taken by the UK,” Jaitley said. He added that public sector banks were making all efforts to recover the loans and investigating agencies were inquiring into violations of law.
Mallya, who had a diplomatic passport by virtue of being a Rajya Sabha member, ultimately resigned from the Upper House last week. However, the British government said it acknowledged “the seriousness of allegations” against Mallya and is “keen to assist” the Indian government.
The UK's response came nearly a fortnight after India made a request for the deportation of Mallya, whose Indian passport was revoked in a bid to secure his presence for investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. “The UK government has informed us that under the 1971 Immigration Act, the UK does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in the UK if they have extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter the UK was conferred.
Agency reports said the Enforcement Directorate was mulling to attach Rs 9,000 crore of Mallya's assets.