The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that Vijay Mallya's extradition has been raised at the highest political level, but the UK government has refused to share the details of the confidential proceedings delaying his extradition.
"In December 2020, External Affairs Minister Dr. S.Jaishankar raised the issue with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and most recently in January 2021, the Home Secretary of India raised it with the UK Permanent Under Secretary of Home. UK's response remained the same", said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before a bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit.
Mehta added that in November last year the foreign secretary of India raised the issue of Vijay Mallya extradition with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who responded that the UK's legal complexities were preventing Mallay's quick extradition.
Mehta submitted that the Indian government has been informed that there is a further legal issue that needs to be resolved before Mallya can be extradited. "Under United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. As it is judicial in nature, the issue is confidential, and you will understand that Her Majesty's government cannot provide any more details", said Mehta citing official response from the UK.
Mehta submitted before the bench that his extradition has been pursued at the highest level and sought adjournment on the matter. The top court has fixed the matter for further hearing on March 15.
On August 31, the Supreme Court had dismissed Mallya's plea seeking review of a 2017 judgment which held him guilty for contempt of court. The top court also sought Mallya's presence before the court on October 5.
The top court had held him guilty of contempt, as Mallya did not truthfully disclose the full account of his assets. In May 2017, the apex court held him guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million to his children, and ordered him to appear on July 10, 2017 to argue on the quantum of punishment.