NEW DELHI: India has handed over a formal request to the UK for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to face trial in India. Confirming the development, foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the request, as received from the CBI, was handed over to the UK high commission in New Delhi.
The extradition request is a test of the India UK partnership. This was indicated by Swarup who said, “We have an extradition treaty with the UK, and we believe we have a legitimate case against Mallya.” It would be an example of Indo-British cooperation, he stressed. There has not been any similar extradition request for for mer cricket administrator Lalit Modi, who is also a fugitive from Indian justice, residing in the UK. After the UK refused to deport Mallya last year, the CBI’s request for the liquor baron’s extradition was sent through the foreign ministry.
The CBI had moved court last Novem ber with the request.Mallya had fled to London on March 2, last year. A non-bailable warrant had been obtained against Mallya after filing a chargesheet last month. In a series of tweets to wards the end of January , Mallya complained of a “witch hunt” against him.”In our country, I assumed that innocence prevails till proven guilty. Media have convicted me guilty without trial with widespread influence,” he further said.
The extradition request, officials said, had to be issued as Mallya didn’t respond to requests by the CBI and the ED to join investigations over the last 11 months. The CBI chargesheet last month said undue favours were shown to KFA in sanctioning and disbursal of loans of Rs 1,300 crore and there were many acts of omission and commission on the part of IDBI Bank officials in the process.
“About Rs 260 crore of the borrowed amount was diverted by KFA, while Rs 263 crore was used to pay salaries, TDS, income tax and loan instalments. A part of the loan amount was also diverted by Mallya for his personal expenses,” the CBI chargesheet said.