INDIA’S finance minister Arun Jaitley has said the country’s investigative agencies were working to ensure the extradition of businessman Vijay Mallya, who was arrested in London on Tuesday (April 18) and later released on bail.
Mallya, 61, has been declared a proclaimed offender by Indian courts. He was arrested by Scotland Yard in London on Tuesday following India’s request for his extradition on fraud charges.
The tycoon was released on bail a few hours later on a bail bond worth £650,000.
He will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on May 17.
Mallya fled India in March 2016 owing more than $1 billion after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds.
India submitted an extradition request to Britain in early February after investigators demanded the 61-year-old be brought home to face charges.
“I think the government and all the investigating agencies are certainly putting (in) their best efforts because the agencies do believe that an offence has been committed for which the person (Mallya) is required in India,” Jaitley told reporters in New Delhi today (April 19).
The Indian government has since revoked Mallya’s Indian passport, but the businessman has dismissed allegations against him.
At the extradition hearing next month, the judge must decide a issues including whether the documentation sent to the court by the secretary of state (for home) complies with the (extradition) act and whether the offence detailed in the request is an extradition offence.
If the district judge rules in favour of extradition, the British home secretary must order Mallya’s extradition within two months of the appropriate day.
India and the UK have an Extradition Treaty, signed in 1992, but so far only one extradition has taken place under the arrangement – Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who was sent back to India last October to face trial in connection with his alleged role in riots in 2002.
Mallya’s financial dealings are being investigated by the federal Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, a financial crimes agency.
A Indian court in January ordered a consortium of banks to start the process of recovering loans from the tycoon.