Even as the Indian government seems keen to bring back Vijay Mallya into the country and is trying hard for his extradition, the process, even if successful, may take up to one year, or even more if the former liquor baron’s advocate and other experts are to be believed. According to Mallya’s Mumbai-based counsel, Amit Desai, extradition proceedings may take as long as a year before a decision is reached. Meanwhile, reiterating Indian Government’s intent to bring Mallya to justice, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that investigative agencies are doing their best to ensure extradition of Vijay Mallya.
Mallya, who was apprised of the charges against him by the court judge, was granted bail and is supposed to remain confined to his Hertfordshire residence. The next date for a hearing, when British Courts will begin formal hearing on the extradition has been set as 17 May, and it is then, that Indian Government will have to establish before British Courts that a case against Mallya exists for extradition before he can be actually extradited. But getting an extradition from Britain may not be easy, as experienced in the case of music director Nadeem Saifee and that of former Indian Premier League Commissioner, Lalit Modi.
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PTI has reported Senior Indian advocate K T S Tulsi as saying that the British courts are very independent and do not grant extradition easily. Tulsi said though the Indian government has sent the evidence against Mallya to the British courts while requesting his extradition, the courts there will “evaluate it independently to see if the evidence is sufficient” to extradite him. He pointed out that in the past 50 requests for extradition sent to the UK, the courts there have granted only one. He also said that normally in extradition cases bail is granted only after 60 days, but Mallya was given the relief on the same day which shows it may not be easy to get him back.
The British Courts will decide on extradition applying English laws and the extradition treaty with India. Before deciding on the extradition request the court judge will check that the request does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. India will also have to convince the British Courts that Mallya will not be harassed or targeted in any way.
But even after getting the approval for extradition from British Courts, it may take up to two months to bring Mallya back, as he would still have the provision to appeal to higher courts. If the High Court approves, his appeal can be even be forwarded to the British Supreme Court.
Considering all these factors involved, it seems that Vijay Mallya is not coming back to India anytime soon.