India asks UK not to consider asylum to Vijay Mallya

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday said it has asked the United Kingdom (UK) not to consider any request for asylum by fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya as there appeared to be no ground for his persecution in the country.
Last week, the UK government indicated that Mallya is unlikely to be extradited to India anytime soon, saying there is a legal issue that needed to be resolved before his extradition can be arranged.
“We have been in touch with the UK side for his early extradition. We have also requested the UK side not to consider his asylum, if requested by him, because there appeared to be no ground for his persecution in India,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at an online media briefing.
In May, Mallya lost his appeals in the UK Supreme Court against his extradition to India to face money laundering and fraud charges.
Srivastava said India has been in touch with the UK after Mallya’s application for leave to appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court was rejected.
The UK top court’s decision marked a major setback to the 64-year-old businessman as it came weeks after he lost his High Court appeal in April against an extradition order to India.
A spokesperson in the British high commission here said last week that there was a legal issue that needed to be resolved before Mallya’s extradition can be arranged.
“Under United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. The issue is confidential and we cannot go into any detail. We cannot estimate how long this issue will take to resolve. We are seeking to deal with this as quickly as possible,” the official had said.
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.
The high court verdict in April upheld the 2018 ruling by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot at the end of a year-long extradition trial in December 2018 that the former Kingfisher Airlines boss had a “case to answer” in the Indian courts.

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