Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya, who has been accused of fleeing to the UK after defaulting on massive loans, was arrested in London by Scotland Yard on India’s request for his extradition.
In less than three hours after being arrested, Mallya was granted bail by the Westminster’s Magistrates’ Court.
Mallya was arrested after he appeared at a central London police station in the morning.
“Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Extradition Unit this morning arrested a man on an extraction warrant. Vijay Mallya was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud,” Scotland Yard told PTI.
The 61-year-old liquor baron, who has been declared a proclaimed offender, appeared before the Westminster’s Magistrates’ Court in London for his bail hearing.
Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, had fled India on March 2, 2016.
In January, an Indian court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans.
Senior Indian officials said that a legal process will now kick-start in the UK to determine if Mallya can be extradited to India to face charges in Indian courts.
India had given a formal extradition request for Mallya as per the Extradition Treaty between India and the UK through a note verbale on February 8.
While handing over the request, India had asserted that it has a “legitimate” case against Mallya and maintained that if an extradition request is honoured, it would show British “sensitivity towards our concerns”.
Last month the British government had certified India’s request of the extradition process of Mallya, and sent it to a district judge for further action.
The extradition process from the UK involves a number of steps including a decision by the judge whether to issue a warrant of arrest.
In case of a warrant, the person is arrested and brought before the court for preliminary hearing followed by an extradition hearing before a final decision is taken by the secretary of state.
The wanted person has a right to appeal to the higher courts against any decision all the way up to the Supreme Court.
(With inputs from agencies)