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Snippets from UK: Sanjay Bhandari Extradition Case in Court; the India Trade Deal Hype

File pic of Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson.

File pic of Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson.

From EU diplomats leaving India to escape Covid to the legal battle with Cairn persisting, a roundup of what's making news today.

Sanjay Bhandari’s Extradition Hearing This Week: One extradition case ends, another begins. It’s like a relay race played at the Westminster Magistrates Court in London. Vijay Mallya is the best known among them, but before him, there were cases against Nadeem, Iqbal Mirchi, Ravi Shankaran, and others, that all failed. Success came with the bookie Sanjeev Chawla, the first to contest extradition and who ended up getting physically extradited. Mallya stood out because he loved the media circus around him. Next came Nirav Modi, but away from any media frenzy since he got jailed more than two years back. Now it’s the turn of Sanjay Bhandari to appear at the court this week. He’s turning out to be as keen on ducking cameras as Mallya was in seeking them out.

29 Pakistani Men Arrested in Bradford over Child Sex Racket: It’s one Pakistani ring after another getting caught in cases of abuse and rape of young British girls. In the latest of these cases to come up, 29 men have been charged with sexual exploitation and rape of a single girl over a seven-year period. She was through this period aged between 13 and 20. The offences are alleged to have taken place in and around Bradford in north England, a city with a high concentration of Pakistanis. The men who have all been named, are now due to appear at the Bradford Magistrates Court on July 7 and 9.

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EU Diplomats Flying out of India: We’re not into any exodus of foreign diplomatic staff from Delhi, but a number of staff from European nations have returned to their countries. That includes several officials working in the German embassy in Delhi. The Polish government too has offered the return option for its staff; one senior diplomat is reported to have been flown back already. These represent, however, only a small fraction as yet of diplomats working in India, mostly Delhi.

Cairn-India Legal Battle Continues: Negotiations between Cairn and Indian officials to work out a compromise seem to be going nowhere at present. An arbitration tribunal awarded Cairn 1.7 billion dollars from the Indian government. India has challenged that order since in a Dutch court. The award came over retrospective but disputed taxes the Indian government deducted from Cairn earlier. Cairn has warned that it will seek to seize the assets of India’s public sector banks abroad if the Indian government does not pay. These banks have been asked to alert the Indian government through its embassies of any such move.

India Trade Deal May Not Live up to the Hype in UK: Britain’s one billion-pound trade and investment deal with India announced after a virtual meeting between prime ministers of the two countries is beginning to look smaller and smaller by the day. For a start, a lot of commentaries in British newspapers had been running headlines of 100 billion pounds of trade, not ‘just’ one billion, but other worrying numbers are emerging. A deal with India was being billed as an alternative to the EU following Brexit. But new figures show that British exports to the EU dropped 18 per cent over the first quarter of this year. India trade is not expected by most to compensate for lost trade with the EU. Some apprehensions are growing that Brexit may yet be a disaster more than any triumph.​

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first published:May 13, 2021, 21:41 IST