Vijay Mallya’s extradition: Sushma Swaraj reveals what PM Narendra Modi told Theresa May about Indian jails

Fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya, fighting India’s request to the UK to extradite him, has argued in a British court about the poor condition of Indian jails. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a sharp retort for his British counterpart Theresa May on the subject when they met earlier this year, Sushma Swaraj revealed today.

According to the foreign minister, PM Modi told the British PM that it was not right for courts in her country to ask about the condition of Indian jails, “as we still have the prisons where they jailed our leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.”

Prime Minister Modi’s stern message to the British PM was conveyed when the two leaders met in London in April, during the meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and discussed Mallya’s extradition, wherein he had complained to the UK courts about the conditions of Indian jails.

Swaraj also added, “We have sent out Mallya’s extradition request. One of the cases in the court is by the State Bank of India (SBI) consortium, which involves 12 banks. They have won the case and the money can now be recovered.”

“We have sent out Mallya`s extradition request. One of the cases in the court is by the State Bank of India (SBI) consortium, which involves 12 banks. They have won the case and the money can now be recovered,” Swaraj added.

Liquor baron Mallya is absconding and currently living in the United Kingdom. His assets in India have been seized by the Indian authorities as he faces money laundering charges to the tune of more than Rs 9000 crores. Mallya was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant in April 2017. Apart from this case, the High Court of London on February 12 had ordered Mallya to pay an estimated USD 90 million to a Singapore-based aircraft leasing company in claims. The case involves a number of aircraft leased by Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines from BOC Aviation in 2014.

Mallya is among 53 persons, who are facing prosecution complaints from the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and they are absconding, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said in July 2017.

In 2016, the 62-year-old Mallya left India when banks were trying to recover about Rs 9,000 crores in unpaid loans to the premium Kingfisher Airlines, which the flamboyant businessman had started in 2005 (but it shut down years later).

He was later arrested in the UK following a warrant issued by Indian officials that accused him of conspiracy to swindle IDBI Bank via a Rs 91 billion loan to Kingfisher Airlines. Last week the NSE issued a show-cause notice to Mallya’s UB (Holdings) for delisting its shares since trading had been suspended for a long period owing to regulatory non-compliance.

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