NEW DELHI, May 11 - In a setback to India�s efforts to expeditiously get back Vijay Mallya, facing arrest for money laundering, the UK has made it clear that the liquor baron cannot be deported and asked India to seek his extradition.
However, the British government said it acknowledges �the seriousness of allegations� against Mallya and was �keen to assist� the Indian government.
The UK government�s response came nearly a fortnight after India made a request for the deportation of Mallya, whose Indian passport was revoked in a bid to secure his presence for investigations against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. There is also a non-bailable warrant issued against Mallya.
�The UK government has informed us that under the 1971 Immigration Act, the UK does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in the UK if they have extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter the UK was conferred.
�At the same time the UK acknowledges the seriousness of the allegations and is keen to assist the Government of India. They have asked GoI to consider requesting mutual legal assistance or extradition,� MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
In the Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India will now have to initiate extradition process after a charge-sheet is filed to bring back the embattled tycoon to face money laundering charges as well as recovery of the Rs 9,400 crore of loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Cancellation of passport �does not result in automatic deportation, that is the stand taken by UK,� Jaitley said. � PTI