India has urged the United Kingdom not to consider asylum to fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya if requested by him and has been in touch with the British authorities for his early extradition. The 64-year-old is wanted in India to face fraud charges resulting from the collapse of his defunct company Kingfisher Airlines.
"We have been in touch with the UK authorities for early extradition of Vijay Mallya. We have also requested the UK side not to consider his asylum if requested by him," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in an online media briefing.
Britain had said earlier this month that there is "a further legal issue" that needs to be resolved before Vijay Mallya's extradition can be arranged.
"Vijay Mallya last month lost his appeal against extradition and was refused permission to appeal to the United Kingdom's Supreme Court. However, there is a further legal issue that needs to be resolved before Mr Mallya's extradition can be arranged," a British High Commission spokesperson told NDTV.
"Under the UK law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. The issue is confidential and we cannot go into details. We cannot estimate how long this issue will take to resolve. We are seeking to deal with this as quickly as possible," the spokesperson added.
Vijay Mallya was last month denied permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court against a High Court order that upheld a 2018 ruling to extradite him to India to face fraud charges resulting from the collapse of his defunct company Kingfisher Airlines.
As per UK's Extradition Act, an individual has to be extradited with 28 days of an order by a high court or Supreme Court. However, if the individual had made an asylum claim, which refers to an appeal to stay in the UK as a refugee, the extradition cannot be done unless the claim is settled.
It is not yet clear if Vijay Mallya has made an asylum claim, sources in the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) said.
India wants to bring back the businessman, whose interests have ranged from aviation to liquor, over Rs 9,000 crore in loans Kingfisher took out from banks which the authorities argue he had no intention of repaying. Vijay Mallya denies the charges against him and is currently on bail.