Beleaguered billionaire Vijay Mallya was arrested in London on Tuesday but not for long as he was soon out on bail thereby setting the stage for a long legal battle for extradition by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). Mallya’s is not the first case, as several such requests from the CBI and other Indian agencies are pending with authorities in the UK despite both countries having signed an extradition treaty way back in 1993, say officials. Earlier, on various occasions, India failed to secure extradition of some very high profile personalities like that of former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, Navy war room leak suspect Ravishankaran and Purulia arms drop case accused Kim Davy. Therefore, in the case of Mallya, who has a battery of lawyers to fight his case, India will have to move quickly and the next step would be to obtain a fresh non-bailable warrant (NBW) from the Mumbai court, which had initially issued one for the liquor baron, reports The Indian Express quoting officials.
Extradition is a prolonged battle. It is a judicial process and the concerned person has the right to appeal that makes it difficult for agencies, former CBI in-charge of Interpol in New Delhi, NS Kharayat told IE. And as the extradition process now starts in Mallya’s case, the CBI and Indian High Commission will present its case, said a government functionary. But the proof that they expect will be very tough, he said.
To further explain the extradition case of Vijay Mallya, it may be noted that as per provisions of the UK Extradition Act, the court must begin hearing his case within 21 days. With the hearings, the magistrate will decide if the allegations brought against Mallya warrants his extradition to stand trial in India. If the magistrate’s court orders his extradition on the basis of the Indian request, he will have the opportunity to contest the verdict in the high court and further in the UK Supreme Court. If any court orders his extradition, Mallya will get 10 days to file an appeal in a higher court.