A day after liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested in London before being granted bail by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said that the Centre will take all required steps to ensure that he is brought back to India and put before the trial.
The businessman had left the country on March 2 last year, even as he owned about Rs 10,000 crore to a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India. In November 2015, his total due was Rs 9091 crore, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had informed the Lok Sabha in March last year. he had also claimed, “there have been clear instructions that every possible action should be pursued.”
The centre since last year, have been accused by Opposition parties of helping the liquor baron “escape” from the country. The leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad had alleged last year that the government was “party to this criminal conspiracy of allowing him to escape and leave the country”. He had earlier said that the “government should be made party and the Supreme Court should take note of this.”
The Narendra Modi government had however been trying hard to bring back Vijay Mallya from London, to make him face trial in a court in the country and also repay the banks. The arrest of Vijay Mallya had come weeks after after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s visit to UK. India, while handing over its request to UK authorities, had asserted that it has a “legitimate” case against Mallya and maintained that if an extradition request is honoured, it would show British “sensitivity towards our concerns”.
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Vijay Mallya, who is wanted by CBI and Enforcement directorate in a loan default case, was declared a wilful defaulter in 2016 for not being able to re-pay a sum related to Kingfisher Airlines that was grounded in 2012. He owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to lenders like SBI, PNB, IDBI Bank, BoB, Allahabad Bank, Federal Bank and Axis Bank, among others.