SC asks Centre to file status report on confidential proceedings in UK on Vijay Mallya’s extradition

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    The Supreme Court Monday asked the Centre to file status report in six weeks on the confidential legal proceedings pending in the United Kingdom on extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to India.

    The Centre had on October 5 told the apex court that Mallya cannot be extradited to India until a separate secret legal process in the UK, which is judicial and confidential in nature is resolved .

    A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Ashok Bhushan asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to file status report in the matter in six weeks and posted it for hearing in the first week of January next year.

    The bench also refused to accept the plea of advocate E C Agarwala, appearing for Mallya in the apex court, seeking discharge from the case.

    The Centre had last month said it is not aware of the secret ongoing proceedings against Mallya in the UK as the government of India is not party to the process.

    Mallya, an accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, is in the UK since March 2016. He is on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.

    On August 31, the top court had directed Mallya to appear before it on October 5 while dismissing his plea seeking review of the 2017 verdict which held him guilty of contempt for transferring USD 40 million to his children in violations of court orders.

    During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing on Monday, the solicitor general told the bench that Agarwala has filed an application from discharge from the case.

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    This is aggravating the matter. We have filed an affidavit saying that there are some proceedings going on which is confidential in nature. Without that legal issue being resolved extradition can not be done, Mehta said.

    The application seeking discharge is rejected and advocate E C Agarwala will continue to appear for the contemnor on the matter, the bench said in its order.