Eluding justice?

Stephen Neil Gershom
NSoJ Bureau
Business tycoon Vijay Mallya was arrested in London on 18 April. The arrest was made, based on an extradition warrant,
but was granted bail within a few hours and released on a bond of 6,50,000 pounds. The court ordered Mr. Mallya to appear
in court on May 17.
Vijay Mallya has been a news maker almost all his life and continues to be so even today. The King of Good Times as he
was called escaped from India last March fearing arrest by the Indian authorities and the Ministry of External Affairs
revoked his passport in April 2016.
Born with a silver spoon Vijay Mallya who took over the mantle of United Breweries (UB) group after his father Vittal
Mallya’s death in 1983 ensured that the group remained the king in the liquor business and has a record of gobbling many
smaller players globally. He also ventured into real estate and fertilisers.
In addition to leading a very flamboyant life, he also ensured that his company’s brand value goes up with its
association with Formula 1 racing and even started an airline in 2005. But the airline seemed to be the beginning of his
end. When the aviation sector went through a very choppy face after the 2008 financial crisis, King fisher airlines also
nosedived unable to pay its burgeoning debts. That did not deter him from paying Rs 720 crores to buy Royal Challengers
Bangalore team at the IPL auctions.
Mallya and his companies have been embroiled in controversies since 2012. 17 Indian banks are trying to collect

approximately ₹9,000 crores taken by Mallya as loans. The Enforcement Directorate of India also filed a money laundering case against him in March 2016 for allegedly sending abroad around ₹900 crores that had been loaned to his airline.

In addition to owning Indian Premier League team Royal Challengers Bangalore, the I-League teams Mohun Bagan FC and East Bengal FC, he is also a member of the World Motor Sport Council representing India in the FIA.
Earlier this year, Indian authorities began formal proceedings to extradite Mr. Mallya. It is to be noted though, that
after the India-U.K. Extradition Treaty was signed in 1993, no one had been extradited for 23 years, until last year
when Britain extradited Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel who was wanted by India in relation to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
A team of CBI officials are set to go to the UK to pursue the extradition request which is being coordinated by the
Indian High Commission in London.
Mallya blames the Indian media of misleading the public who currently resides in a house in central London and a country
home in Hertfordshire.
India-UK extradition treaty signed in 1993 has many clauses like punishing the accused only for the particular case for
which he is being extradited. It also makes it clear that the person should not be given capital punishment and UK
should be convinced that the human rights of the person concerned is not violated in any form.
What is most shocking for many in India is the terrible delay in getting a person who has defaulted and cheated many
banks in the country is living in United Kingdom avoiding arrest. When millions here are harassed by their lenders and
in many cases by the public sector banks for defaulting on amounts as small as Rs 25,000 and when many farmers have
committed suicide unable to repay loans from cooperative banks, it is rather sad state of affairs that the government is
dilly dallying on bringing a closure to a prolonged legal battle.

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