UPDATE: 15:31 p.m. IST — India will ask the United Kingdom to extradite liquor baron Vijay Mallya who has been living in Hertfordshire, near London, after leaving India in early March, Asian News International quoted Finance Minister Arun Jaitely as saying at the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Original Story —
The United Kingdom has reportedly told the central government that it cannot deport business tycoon Vijay Mallya to India over an invalid passport. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), had on April 28, written to the British High Commission in Delhi seeking deportation of the liquor baron.
The British High Commission relayed the information to the ministry on Monday in a note verable — a less formal and unsigned note. The note said that Mallya's U.K. visa was valid although India revoked his passport on April 24, the Hindu reported. The 60-year-old businessman has been living in a three-storey mansion named Ladywalk at Tewin in Hertfordshire after leaving India in early March.
"The UK Government has informed us that under 1971 Immigration Act, the UK does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in the UK if they have extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter UK was conferred," Asian News International quoted MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup as saying.
However, the U.K. has acknowledged the "seriousness" of allegations and has asked India to consider seeking mutual legal assistance under a treaty the two countries signed in 1992 or his extradition under the 1993 treaty.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been investigating Mallya under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. Mallya has been accused of syphoning off crores of rupees from IDBI bank and laundering it overseas.
Mallya in an interview with the Financial Times, a first after leaving India, refuted the allegations and said, "I am absolutely not guilty of any of these preposterous charges of diverting funds from Kingfisher, buying properties or stuff like that."
The liquor baron moved to England after several banks, including the State Bank of India, declared him a wilful defaulter when his Kingfisher Airlines defaulted on loans reportedly amounting to over Rs. 9,000 crore.
(cont)remain or enter UK was conferred. At same time,UK acknowledges the seriousness of allegations & is keen to assist GoI:MEA #Vijaymallya
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 11, 2016