Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench led by Justice UU Lalit that the UK government has reassured the government that it is seeking to deal with the issue quickly as it fully understands the importance of the case for India.
The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court it is making all efforts to extradite fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, who’s accused in a Rs 9,000-crore bank default case, but the UK government first needs to resolve a confidential “legal issue”, and hence the delay in his extradition.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench led by Justice UU Lalit that the UK government has reassured the government that it is seeking to deal with the issue quickly as it fully understands the importance of the case for India. However, the SG said the UK government has refused to give more details, saying that it was judicial in nature.
“We are trying our best. Status remains the same. From political executive level to administrative level the matter is being looked into repeatedly at the highest level,” Mehta said, adding that the issue was raised with the UK’s home secretary this month.
The next date for hearing in the case has been fixed on March 15.
The apex court had in November asked the government to submit a status report on extradition of Mallya within six weeks.
Mallya has been based in the UK since March 2016 and remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017. In May 2020, Mallya had lost his appeals in the UK Supreme Court against his extradition to India.
The SC bench is at present hearing the issue related to the quantum of punishment following the conviction of Mallya, who was on May 10, 2017 found guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million to his children despite the court orders restraining him from doing so.
The money was part of $75-million settlement with Diageo Group when he resigned from the chairmanship of United Breweries group in February 2016. Both the Karnataka High Court and the Debt Recovery Tribunal in Bengaluru had earlier asked him not to alienate his assets.
On August 31, 2020, Mallya was directed by the SC to appear before it on October 5. This was following the dismissal of his review plea of the 2017 verdict which held him guilty of contempt for transferring $40 million to his children in violation of the court’s orders.