Businessman Vijay Mallya was arrested by Scotland Yard in London today. Mallya is the subject of an extradition request from India for alleged financial irregularities. The reason for the arrest of the 61-year-old former liquor and aviation tycoon is not known.
Mallya will reportedly appear before the Westminster magistrates court. He is wanted in India for defaulting on loan worth around Rs 9,000 crore related to Kingfisher Airlines that was grounded in 2012.
The UK had certified India’s request for Mallya’s extradition, the government said a few weeks ago.
“The UK home department on February 21 conveyed that the request of India for extradition of Mallya has been certified by the secretary of state and sent to the Westminster magistrates’ court for a district judge to consider the issue of releasing of warrant,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said on March 24.
The arrest report is huge for our country and especially the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government as it is often criticized by the opposition for ‘allowing Mallya to flee the country’. Now if he is brought back to India, the BJP will have a solid reason to shut-up the critics.
Here’s how the BJP is trying to bring back the ‘king of good times’ to India:
Tried deportation back in 2016:
In a bid to bring back Mallya, the BJP government had urged the United Kingdom to deport Mallya. However, the UK had then told India that it couldn’t deport liquor baron Vijay Mallya. The UK government’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response came nearly a fortnight after India made a request for the deportation of Mallya, whose Indian passport was revoked in a bid to secure his presence for investigation against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. There is also a non-bailable warrant issued against Mallya.
The UK government has cited the 1971 Immigration Act and claimed that 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.
In February this year, the BJP government took a decisive step to get back Mallya. The Ministry of External Affairs passed on the request for the embattled businessman’s extradition to the UK High Commission.
“We’ve today handed over the request for extradition of Vijay Mallya as received from the CBI to the UK High Commission in New Delhi. We have requested the UK side to extradite him to face trial in India,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said.
Arun Jaitley’s UK visit
Though Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had gone to the United Kingdom to woo global business leaders and foreign investors, it is believed that it was during this visit when Jaitley had also pushed for extradition of Mallya.
During his five-day visit to the United Kingdom during February 24-28, Jaitley had also met PM Theresa May and reports suggest that the union finance minister had requested the British government to look into the matter.