Vijay Mallya Arrested by Scotland Yard in London, Granted Bail
New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya who is wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth Rs 9,000 crore has been arrested by the Scotland Yard in London. He was produced before the Westminster Magistrates' Court there and was granted bail.
Mallya, who has been declared an absconder in India, is likely to be extradited and a team from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will visit the United Kingdom soon.
The Westminster Magistrate told CNN-News18 that Mallya had been granted conditional bail pending deposit of £650,000 prior to his release from custody. The extradition hearing will be on May 17 at 2pm.
Soon after getting bail, Mallya took to Twitter to hit out at the Indian media.
Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected.
— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) April 18, 2017
A press statement by London Metropolitan Police said: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Extradition Unit have this morning, Tuesday 18 April arrested a man on an extraction warrant. Vijay Mallya, 61 (18/12/1955), was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud. He was arrested after attending a central London police station, and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court later today, 18 April.”
Sources told CNBC TV18 that the process of Mallya’s arrest was put in motion after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s visit to London in February when he personally appealed to British PM Theresa May on the issue.
Sources in New Delhi said the UK government had two options before it — deportation and extradition. But since Mallya legally entered the UK with a valid passport, deportation was ruled out. A London court will now decide whether Mallya is given bail or sent to judicial custody.
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani said Mallya has the option of challenging his extradition. “Deportation can happen, but extradition may take time,” told CNN-News18.
Mallya has repeatedly refused to appear before courts and investigators in India since he secretly fled to Britain last March, after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds.
#MallyaArrested in London: Exclusive details
— News18 (@CNNnews18) April 18, 2017
His financial dealings are being investigated by the CBI and federal Enforcement Directorate. The prosecution lawyer for the ED against Mallya is Hiten Venegaonkar. Speaking to CNN-News18, he said: “The extradition process will take less than a month. Chances of him getting bail are grim.”
He made Kingfisher beer a global brand and ran a now-defunct airline with the same name, besides being the owner of a cricket side and a Formula One team.
More than half a dozen court warrants have already been issued against his name, and he owes banks at least Rs 9,000 crore.
In January, a court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans.
India had given a formal extradition request for Mallya as per the Extradition Treaty between India and the UK through a note verbale on February 8.
Last month, setting in motion the process of extradition of Mallya, the British government had certified India's request and sent it to a district judge for further action.
The wanted person has a right to appeal to the higher courts against any decision all the way up to the supreme court.
Earlier in January this year, a CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in the Rs 720-crore IDBI Bank loan default case.
Mallya, who remains a part-owner of the Force India Formula One team, has come to personify India's problems with bad debts that are piling up on the balance sheets of banks.
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