India has asked UK authorities to not consider absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya's asylum plea. This request came amid reports that Mallya had filed an application with the UK government seeking asylum based on "humanitarian grounds". Official spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs Anurag Srivastava said that the Indian government is in touch with the UK government to ensure his early extradition.
"We have been in touch with UK authorities for his early extradition. We have also requested the UK side not to consider his asylum, if requested by him, because there appears to be no ground for his persecution in India," stated Srivastava during a press briefing on Thursday. The 64-year-old Mallya has reportedly sought asylum on the grounds that if he is brought back to India, he would be tortured.
The UK authorities confirmed that Vijay Mallya's extradition would be delayed due to further legal issues. A British High Commission spokesperson said, "There is a further legal issue that needs resolving before Mr. Mallya's extradition can be arranged. Under United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved." The spokesperson said that the issue is confidential and that they cannot go into further details. "We cannot estimate how long this issue will take to resolve. We are seeking to deal with this as quickly as possible," he said.
Under the UK Extradition Act, an individual must be extradited within 28 days of an order by a high court or a Supreme Court. However, if the individual makes a claim for asylum then the extradition cannot be done unless the claim is settled.
The London High Court had ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya based on evidence provided by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate in the Rs 9,000 crore bank fraud case. His application to appeal before the Supreme Court was rejected and his extradition papers were sent home office for signature.