Loan defaulter Mallya held in United Kingdom; gets bail

Hours after business tycoon Vijay Mallya was arrested in London by Scotland Yard on India's request and released on bail, the Congress tore into the BJP government asking why it did not seek his deportation. Mallya is facing charges of fraud and conspiracy in India over a loan to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines business. At the end of hearing both sides, the ruling will be an advisory to the government on whether Mallya could be extradited or not.

Soon after the arrest of Mallya, minister of state for finance Santosh Gangwar here in India said: "We are working continuously to ensure that the guilty are punished and are not let off".

"Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Extradition Unit have this morning, Tuesday, 18 April, arrested a man on an extradition warrant", Scotland Yard said in a statement, adding that the liquor baron had been arrested on behalf of Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud.

Mallya, in a message on Twitter, called the news of his arrest "usual Indian media hype".

According to an open letter written by the former women employees of the erstwhile airline past year, Mallya owes Rs 300 crore as salaries dues to over 3,000 employees.

The arrest comes weeks after Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had indicated that Mallya's extradition would feature in his talks during his visit to the UK.

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One of the main reasons why India would have to shed a lot of sweat to deport Mallya is the fact that it falls under the second category of countries, where extradition process are usually strenuous as compared to category one countries. A top source said India is seeking extradition of Mallya for defaulting on loans due to IDBI. He is the owner of a Formula One team.

While he is wanted in multiple cases like cheque dishonor, loan default and fun diversion, it will require a long process to bring him back to India, albeit Britain accepting India's request to start his extradition process.

Mallya had his diplomatic passport revoked last April, with a warrant issued for his arrest, and he has since been residing in the UK.

Though the Enforcement Directorate attached a number of his properties, including the Kingfisher Villa that was auctioned recently, it has failed to recover the entire amount that Mallya owes to the banks. They are whether the person is at risk of the death penalty; whether specialty arrangements are in place; whether the person concerned has previously been extradited from another country to the United Kingdom and the consent of that country to his onward extradition is required; and whether the person has previously been transferred to the United Kingdom by the International Criminal Court.

"If none of these bars apply in the case, the Judge will send the extradition request to the Secretary of State for approval", the Home Office said. The government, he said, will leave no stone unturned to bring to justice anyone indulging in financial irregularities.

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