Vijay Mallya out on bail but not free; court imposes curbs on leaving UK home, travel
While a conditional bail has been granted, Vijay Mallya is said to have been directed to stay confined at his property near London and refrain from applying for any travel documents.
Even as a London Court granted a conditional bail to liquor baron Vijay Mallya after his brief arrest on Tuesday, CBI sources in the Indian capital suggested the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London has prohibited the tycoon from leaving or trying to leave the UK, the Times of India reported today.
In fact, Mallya has reportedly been confined at his Hertfordshire property near London, and ordered to refrain from applying for international travel or possess any such documents. Scotland Yard will continue to hold his Indian passport which was revoked when he fled India.
The conditional bail has been granted after taking Rs 5.4-crore bond and under stiff terms, as is the case with most financial crimes. However, it is only applicable until May 17 when a senior district judge will initiate hearing on his extradition.
The kick-off of the extradition hearing, albeit a long-drawn legal battle, is a big booster for the Indian government, which has been striving to bring Mallya to justice here for defaulting on over Rs 9,000-crore worth of loans. The issue of extradition is said to have been discussed at length by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when UK counterpart Theresa May visited Delhi in November.
Both Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) seemed invigorated by the arrest saying the arrest has set off the extradition process and it will now reach a logical conclusion.
Apart from the CBI the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also probing Mallya for an alleged money laundering case, where he is alleged to have diverted the loans he took for the now-bust Kingfisher Airlines.It must be noted that in 1993 an extradition treaty was signed between India and the UK. However, the UK has so far not handed any fugitive wanted by the Indian authorities. The Indian government had handed a list of 57 suspects including top names like former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, music director Nadeem Saifi, VVIP chopper scam middleman Christian Michel, 1993 blast accused Tiger Hanif and UK citizen Raymond Varley, when May visited last year.