India, UK discuss extradition hassles amid Mallya deportation talk

New Delhi: Days after New Delhi’s request seeking the deportation of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya, India and the United Kingdom on Tuesday concluded two-day extensive talks over legal matters related to extradition of criminals.

Mallya faces money laundering and loan default charges back home but has been hiding in the UK.

According to an External Affairs Ministry statement, the two sides held “detailed and fruitful deliberations on the legal processes and procedures in either country and reviewed the requests for extradition and mutual legal assistance pending on either side”.

The two countries, which signed their extradition treat on September 22, 1993, reiterated their determination to strengthen legal cooperation and expedite the pending requests, said the statement that, however, did not talk about Mallya.

“It was agreed that the central authorities of both the countries would review further progress in these cases every six month through video conference,” the statement said.

The extradition talks were held following a decision during Prime Minister Theresa May’s India visit in November last.

May and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed officials dealing with extradition matters from both sides to meet and develop better understanding of legal processes and deportation requirements in each other’s country.

They were also directed to “identify the causes of delays and expedite pending requests, so that fugitives and criminals should not be allowed to escape the law”, the statement said.

The Indian delegation was led by officials from the ministries of External Affairs, Home Affairs, Law and Justice and representatives from investigating agencies, including the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.

The British delegation was led by officials of the UK Central Authority for Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance, Home and representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service and their High Commission in New Delhi.