UK refuses deport Mallya, ready to assist in ‘extradition’

New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya who is embroiled in money laundering charges, remained elusive to India as the United Kingdom has informed the government that they cannot comply with their request to deport him, but are ready to consider the option of Mallya’s extradition.

According to a statement by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup, “the UK Government has informed 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.”

However, the UK has acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations and has expressed its keenness to assist India in the matter and have asked the government to consider requesting mutual legal assistance or extradition.

Earlier, the Patiala House court issued a notice to Mallya on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), seeking to withdraw the exemption granted to him from personal appearance in a case of allegedly evading summons in connection with purported violation of the Foreign Exchange Rules.

The court has sought Mallya’s response by May 20.

The ED plea also sought issuance of a non-bailable warrant against the chairman of defunct Kingfisher Airlines to secure his presence in the ongoing trial of the case.

Mallya, currently in Britain, is accused of defaulting on payment of bank loans totalling Rs. 9, 000 crore.

The Centre had earlier revoked Mallya’s diplomatic passport and told the Supreme Court that it would soon initiate court proceedings and approach the British Government for his extradition.

The Enforcement Directorate last month obtained a non-bailable warrant against Mallya from a Mumbai court in a money laundering case. (ANI)