New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth Rs 9,000 crore, was arrested in London on Tuesday but was granted bail soon after.
Mallya was arrested after the Enforcement Directorate presented fresh documents. Earlier, in April 2017, he was apprehended on the basis of an FIR filed by CBI. He was released on bail immediately.
With this arrest, both the cases are now officially part of the proceedings in UK court. The ED had, in March 2016, registered a money-laundering case against Vijay Mallya, and the then CFO of Kingfisher Airlines A. Raghunathan in connection with the CBI’s investigation into the alleged corruption and default of Rs. 900-crore loan in collusion with IDBI officials.
The ED case is under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to trace the transactions pertaining to a suspected diversion of funds.
ED had registered the case after receiving case details from CBI regarding the corruption and criminal conspiracy case against Mallya, his top management at Kingfisher and the then top management of IDBI bank. CBI had alleged that the loan was sanctioned and disbursed to the company in violation of banking rules.
The man who made Kingfisher a global brand has been staying in the United Kingdom for over a year now. He slipped out of the country in March 2016 after the screws tightened around him to recover over Rs 9000 crore which was loaned to his, now-defunct, Kingfisher Airlines. This loan was given to him by a consortium of banks
The Indian request for extradition was first made in February 2017, when the government formally requested Britain to send Vijay Mallaya back to India and face trial. Indian agencies, primarily CBI and ED, followed up the request with a 2,000-page dossier against Mallya.
In July, a UK court had fixed December 4 as the final hearing date for the extradition case. Even if the UK court allows extradition, he would still have two pending appeals in a higher court of law.
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 by rerouting them to tax havens.
The extradition process from the UK involves a number of steps, including a decision by the judge whether to issue a warrant of arrest. In case of a warrant, the person is arrested and brought before the court for preliminary hearing followed by an extradition hearing before a final decision is taken by the secretary of state.
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.