External Affairs Ministry today said it was awaiting Enforcement Directorate’s “advice” on the next steps to be taken to get back Vijay Mallya from the UK, which has refused to deport the liquor baron charged with money laundering. Giving details of the response of the British government, which has asked India to request for the fugitive businessman’s extradition, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, the UK has conveyed that as per its law it cannot deport Mallya but crown prosecution services would be ready to discuss the key issues to consider (request for extradition) with the Indian High Commission. “Now we await the advice of Enforcement Directorate on the next steps,” Swarup said.
The UK, in its response on May 5 to India’s request for the deportation of Mallya, had said that under the 1971 Immigration Act, the UK does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in that country if they have extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter the UK was conferred.
“At the same time the UK acknowledges the seriousness of the allegations and is keen to assist the Government of India. They have asked GoI to consider requesting mutual legal assistance or extradition,” it had conveyed to the Indian government.
India had on April 28 asked the UK authorities to deport Mallya, whose Indian passport was revoked in a bid to secure his presence for taking forward the investigation against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. A non-bailable warrant has also been issued against Mallya.
Following the UK’s refusal to deport Mallya, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said India will now have to initiate extradition proceedings after a charge sheet is filed to bring back the embattled tycoon to face money laundering charges as also to recover Rs 9,400 crore loans extended by a consortium of banks to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines on which he has defaulted.