Weeks after the UK declined to deport embattled businessman Vijay Mallya, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said countries must cooperate when people flee after breaking law.
Britain last month told India that it cannot deport Mallya, who had flown to London on March 2 just days before a consortium of lenders knocked on the doors of Supreme Court to recover Rs 9,431.65 crore of loan and interest, but could consider an extradition request.
Mallya is also facing money laundering charges.
“We do believe that in such cases where people break the law and escape into other jurisdictions, countries must cooperate with each other in checking such evasion,” he said at a function at India Club here.
Jaitley, who arrived here this afternoon in the second-leg of his six-day investor wooing trip to Japan, said the system was not helpless.
“Banks are taking very tough position in order to recover their assets and investigative agencies, whenever there is a breach of law, will take laws to its own logical course,” he said. “We are trying to take cooperation from the British.”
He was responding to a question from the audience that it was difficult to comprehend how some one like Vijay Mallya is able to escape from India to UK without the Indian government being able to do anything about it.
“I don’t think the system is anyway helpless as you sound it is going to be,” Jaitley said in his response.
After UK declined deportation request, the Finance Minister had in New Delhi stated that investigative agencies will make every endeavour to bring Mallya back to face law.
“There are two separate procedures, one is deportation another is extradition. UK in deportation has conventionally never been helpful. They always take a plea that once somebody has entered with legitimate travel documents, they don’t deport that person,” he had said on May 16.
“Then they expect you to go through the extradition process which is as per the law. The requirement is once you file a chargesheet in court, you start the extradition process and that the due process of law which taken forward. I think the agencies will make every endeavour under the options available,” he said.
India had on April 28 asked the UK authorities to deport Mallya, whose Indian passport was revoked in a bid to secure his presence for taking forward the investigation against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. A non-bailable warrant has also been issued against Mallya.
Mallya had left India on March 2 using his diplomatic passport.
The ED has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on an FIR registered last year by the CBI.
The agency is also investigating financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loans.