New Delhi (NVI): The Centre today told the Supreme Court that it is making all serious and consistent efforts to extradite fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya but the process is getting delayed due to some legal complexities.
65-year-old Mallya is accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher airlines.
In the last hearing, the SC had asked Center to explain status of extradition.
During the hearing today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta referred to a communication from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that the UK govt has said they are aware of importance of the case to India.
Mehta shared a letter of MEA on the status of extradition of Mallya. The letter states that MEA has been informed by the UK government that there is a further legal issue that needs to be resolved before Mallya can be extradited.
The letter mentions that in November 2020, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had raised the issue with UK Home Secretary Priti Patil who informed him that UK’s legal complexities were preventing the quick extradition of Mallya.
The letter further states that External affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar had also raised the issue with the UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab in December 2020.
Most recently, in January 2021 the Home Secretary of India raised it with the UK Permanent Under Secretary of Home but UK’s reponse remains the same.
In today’s hearing SG Tushar Mehta said that government is trying its best but status remains the same. He added that the matter is being looked into repeatedly from political executive level to administrative level.
Meanwhile, the SC has adjourned the matter and a bench of Justices UU Lalit and Ashok Bhushan posted the matter for further hearing on March 15.
Mallya is in UK since March 2016 where he is fighting the extradition ordered by the British Government.