Apex court seeks status of Vijay Mallya’s extradition

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday put the Centre on notice to file a status report within six weeks on extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya and adjourned the case to the third week of January.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a Bench headed by Justice UU Lalit that some legal proceedings were still pending in the UK which is delaying Mallya’s extradition.

The bench also rejected an application of advocate EC Agrawala to discharge himself as counsel of Mallya, holding that he shall continue to be the counsel of the contemnor. In the last hearing, the court had asked Agrawala on the nature of proceedings pending in the UK.

Justice Lalit asked Mehta: “When will be Mallya’s extradition process will be completed? Any time frame?”

Mehta replied that no information as yet from the Indian High Commission in London. The UK side said it has informed the Indian High Commission that the issue is confidential and cannot be disclosed.

On October 6, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had told the Supreme Court that the UK Home Office has intimated that there is a further legal issue which needs to be resolved before Vijay Mallya’s extradition takes place and this issue is outside and apart from the extradition process having effect under the UK law.

The affidavit had said that Vijay Mallya's surrender to India should, in principle, have been completed within 28 days after he lost the appeal against extradition.

However, the UK Home Office intimated that there is further legal issue which needs to be resolved before Mallya's extradition takes place.

"The UK side further said that this issue is outside and apart from the extradition process, but it has the effect that under the UK law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved," said the affidavit.

The MHA said the UK has informed it that this separate legal issue is judicial and confidential in nature.

On May 14, in a major setback Mallya lost his application seeking leave to appeal in the UK Supreme Court, after the London High Court declined to entertain his appeal challenging the extradition order to India on charges of fraud and money laundering in connection with unrecovered loans to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

"The UK side emphasized that neither they can provide any more details nor intervene in the process. They have also indicated that through the designated channel, the UK Home Office has received a request to serve summons on Vijay Mallya for his hearing before the Supreme Court (India)," said the MHA.

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