Trying to resolve issue holding up Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India: UK

NEW DELHI: Vijay Mallya can only be extradited to India once a “further legal issue” is resolved in the UK, said the acting British high commissioner on Tuesday.
Briefing the media, Jan Thompson, said while it was not possible to prove a precise timeline on the extradition, the UK was trying to resolve the “confidential” issue as quickly as possible.
Reports have said Mallya has applied for asylum in the UK as a means to escape prison term in India.
“I think you are probably aware, because we’ve said it a number of times, there is a further legal issue that needs resolving before we would be in a position to extradite Mr Mallya.”
The extradition, she said, had been ordered some time ago, but it would be “difficult for me to comment on it very substantively” because it is a legal matter, she added.
Extradition proceedings against Mallya had concluded in May after the UK’s high court rejected his plea to approach Britain’s supreme court against sending him back to India. News reports, however, said secret proceedings — a request for asylum in the UK — had held up his departure.
“But the extradition cannot take place until that particular legal issue is resolved. It’s a confidential issue, I can’t say any more on it. Nor can I estimate how long it will take to be resolved, but what I can is that we’re trying to resolve the issue as quickly as we can,” Thompson said.
The MEA here had said India was not a party to the confidential legal matter that was keeping Mallya in the UK.
Meanwhile, Thompson said the UK government is working on an integrated review of its foreign and strategic policies, putting Indo-Pacific as a premier focus area.
The next couple of years would be important for India-UK relations she said. In 2021, the UK will take over the chairmanship of the G-7 and will host COP 26. Health and climate change, Thompson said, would feature prominently in the UK-India engagement.

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