Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi today arrived in London for talks with British officials on a range of issues such as the extradition of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya and former IPL chief Lalit Modi, sources here said. Mehrishi will meet his British counterpart Patsy Wilkinson and discuss cooperation on counter-terrorism and issues linked to Indian fugitives staying in the UK, they said. Beside Mallya’s, the extradition of former Indian Premier League chief Modi will also figure in their talks, they added.
Mallya, the 61-year-old former chief of now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines which owes nearly Rs 9,000 crore to various Indian banks, has been in the UK since March 2016 and was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on April 18. Out on a bail, he is fighting the extradition case in a UK court. He had fled India on March 2 last year. And Modi, who is also said to be in the UK, is wanted by Indian authorities in connection with a money laundering case.
India and Britain have an extradition treaty, signed in 1992, but so far only one extradition has taken place under the arrangement – that of Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel. During Mehrishi’s stay, the issues related to Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, strengthening of intelligence sharing and visa-related issues are also likely to be discussed.
While India is focused on extraditing Indian fugitives staying in the UK, Britain is expected to raise concerns over illegal immigrants from India and intra-company transfers. Mehrishi’s visit comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday at the G20 Summit pressed Britain’s premier Theresa May to cooperate in bringing back economic offenders from the UK.