New Delhi: After Vijay Mallya, the one-time billionaire, was arrested in London today, the government said it had managed a remarkable feat. "Modi government has done what other government couldn't manage to do," said Jitendra Singh, union minister. Scotland Yard said it had arrested the 61-year-old on the basis of an extradition request from India.
- Vijay Mallya, 61, owned Kingfisher Airlines, fled to London last year
- Refused to return home to face trial over unpaid loans of 9,000 crores
- Arrested today in London based on India's extradition request
Mr Mallya, who has been given bail, is wanted in India over unpaid loans worth 9,000 crores to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. He fled last year for London and has since ignored court orders to return home and face trial. . He has dismissed the charges against him, saying last month that "not one rupee was misused".
Mr Mallya has a base in London as well as a country home bought from the father of F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. "The government-owned banks are trying to hold me personally responsible for the failure of India's largest airline and to repay their debts," Mr Mallya told news agency Reuters in February this year.
He has the right to appeal against his extradition in multiple courts.
"There is a requirement for legal and judicial determination here in the U.K., let them come with whatever evidence they have -- but I doubt if they have any evidence -- and then let the law take its own course," he said.
Mr Mallya, who co-owns the Force India Formula One team, attended one of 21 races last year -- the British Grand Prix at Silverstone -- and watched the rest from a "control room" installed in his country mansion.
He has not left the UK in nearly a year.
Earlier attempts by India to bring back criminal suspects, including Lalit Modi, disgraced cricket tycoon, have not worked. Mr Modi, scion of an industrial family who almost singlehandedly turned the Indian Premier League into the world's richest, left India in 2012 while being investigated for money-laundering and tax evasion.