Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said fugitive businessmen like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi will come back to India to face the law. The government is actively pursuing the extradition of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi from the UK, while Choksi is believed to be in Antigua. While replying to a question on the Insurance (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Sitharaman said Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi will be extradited to India to face law of the land.
Notably, Mallya has been accused of loan default of Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. He has been in the UK since 2016 and is facing extradition trial. Nirav Modi, along with his maternal uncle Choksi, is accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank of Rs 14,500 crore. While Nirav Modi is in the UK jail, Choksi is believed to be in the Caribbean island.
The FM's remarks came more than a month after the Centre told the Supreme Court that it is taking all efforts to extradite Mallya but the process is being delayed due to legal issues involved. The Ministry of External Affairs has raised the issue of extradition with the UK government and the Centre is taking all serious efforts to extradite Mallya, the government's counsel told the apex court.
In the Nirav Modi case, the UK's extradition and district judge had last month ruled that Modi will be extradited to India to stand trial. He said Modi has a case to answer for in India, and that Barrack 12 at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai is fit for him. The judge said, "mental health concerns" as cited by Modi were not unusual in a man in his circumstances.
In the latest development in the Choksi extradition case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 14.45 crore belonging to Gitanjali Group and Choksi in relation to the Punjab National Bank fraud. Earlier, ED had attached properties worth more than Rs 2,550 crore in the matter. Choksi is currently in Antigua and an extradition request has been sent by the Indian government to bring him back.