Mallya arrested in United Kingdom by Scotland Yard, gets bail

Geneva Matthews
April 19, 2017

Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who has been declared a proclaimed offender, was on Tuesday arrested in London by Scotland Yard on India's request for his extradition on fraud charges. "We want to shatter this myth that by crossing boundaries you are out of bounds".

While he is wanted in multiple cases like cheque dishonor, loan default and fun diversion, it will require a long process to bring him back to India, albeit Britain accepting India's request to start his extradition process.

He was, however, released on bail.

The Indian agencies took the step on the basis of complaint filed by a consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India. Last month, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said only one fugitive criminal Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel had been extradited from the United Kingdom in the last five years.

A Metropolitan Police statement said officers from the Extradition Unit arrested Mallya on an extradition warrant from India. At the end of hearing both sides, the ruling will be an advisory to the government on whether Mallya could be extradited or not.

On former IPL chief Lalit Modi, he said, "He also escaped from the clutches of Indian law before Mallya". That request was officially certified by court today with Scotland Yard enforcing the arrest warrant. "India needs to set this precedent".

Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar said the government would do everything in its power to bring Mallya to justice. "These are the questions which BJP and Modi Ji need to answer instead of hoodwinking people of India", Surjewala told ANI.

Coming down heavily on the Centre over Vijay Mallya's arrest, the Congress Party on Wednesday said making hullaballoo over the liquor baron's detention and celebrating it as a great achievement by the government is premature and unnecessary.

Critics say the government has not done enough to tackle the issue of wealthy individuals such as Mallya, who obtain huge loans which they later fail to repay. "We are on a path to bring the matter within the judicial purview and will assess it further", he said.

India had lodged a formal request for Mallya to be extradited on February 8 under the Extradition Treaty between India and the UK.

On April 12, a Delhi court issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant against the beleaguered business man for evading summons in a Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violation case. Since it is a monetary offence, they have given bail.

The court concluded the proceedings after a three-and-a-half-hour hearing during which the Centre contended that Mallya was mocking the Indian system after fleeing the country. He represented India at the launch of the UK-India Year of Culture at Buckingham Palace in London.

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