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Apr 18, 2017 08:14 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya granted bail after brief arrest in London

Scotland Yard said an extradition unit had arrested the former Kingfisher boss on behalf of India on accusations of fraud.

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya granted bail after brief arrest in London

Liquor baron and former Kingfisher boss Vijay Mallya was granted bail shortly being arrested by Scotland Yard in London on Tuesday, a little over a year since he left India after defaulting on loans worth more than Rs 9,000 crore.

Mallya tweeted soon after being granted bail.

Earlier, British authorities announced the high-profile arrest.

"Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Extradition Unit have this morning arrested a man on an extraction warrant," read a Scotland Yard statement. "Vijay Mallya, 61, was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud."

He was then presented before the Westminster Magistrates' Court, where he was granted bail. 

"It was a voluntary action. He will be out in a few minutes," said a member of Mallya's team at the court, without giving any further details of the bail conditions.

 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from India will now put in a request to extradite Mallya to India.

"Vijay Mallya will be brought back to India, due process of law will be followed," said Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State for Finance.

Sources told CNBC-TV18 that Mallya’s lawyers had been anticipating the arrest and had been preparing for it.

He was declared a wilful defaulter back home last year and on February 8, India had handed a formal extradition request to the British government to bring back Mallya.

While handing over the request, India had asserted that it has a "legitimate" case against Mallya and maintained that if an extradition request is honoured, it would show British "sensitivity towards our concerns".

Sources told CNN-News18 that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had personally made an appeal regarding Mallya to British Prime Minister Theresa May during his visit to Britain in February.

The request for extradition was recently certified by the UK.

Sources in New Delhi said the UK government had two options before it — deportation and extradition. But since Mallya legally entered the UK with a valid passport, deportation was ruled out.

The extradition process from the UK involves a number of steps including a decision by the judge whether to issue a warrant of arrest. In case of a warrant, the person is arrested and brought before the court for preliminary hearing followed by an extradition hearing before a final decision is taken by the secretary of state.

Speaking to News18, BJP MP Subramaniam Swamy said that Narendra Modi means business and that it's time for Mallya to go home.

However, according to lawyer HP Ranina, an arrest does not necessarily mean a stronger case for extradition.

While deportation for Mallya is easier, extradition could take time, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani told News18.

Ranina further said we need to wait and see what is covered in the arrest warrant and Mallya will challenge his arrest in the local London court and a legal battle will ensue.

Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth Rs 9,000 crore related to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) that was suspended in 2012. He had left the country last year on March 3.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has been investigating a case against Mallya and the companies he controlled over allegations of money laundering since early last year and had secured a non-bailable warrant against the absconding businessman in a case related to money laundering and wilful default of loans.

Despite numerous summons from the Indian government, Mallya failed to appear in court. In September last year, Mallya had wanted to come to India but was incapacitated as his passport had been revoked.

However, the Enforcement Directorate in October had said that Mallya had no intentions of coming back to India and that his passport was revoked due to his conduct.

Criminal Lawyer Satish Maneshinde said that Mallya has made a case that he has been politically hounded and is a victim of a media trial.

The courts in UK will now examine if Mallya’s offence is extraditable or not.

In February, Karnataka High Court had ordered winding up of

United Breweries Holdings Limited to facilitate recovery of debt owned by Kingfisher Airlines. The airline was promoted by United Breweries.

(With PTI inputs)
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