India

India asks UK to extradite Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Mallya has denied any wrongdoing

India will seek to extradite indebted business tycoon Vijay Mallya after the UK rejected its request to deport him, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said.

India revoked his passport and asked the UK to deport him last month after a court issued a warrant for his arrest.

Mr Jaitley said on Wednesday that the UK had refused to deport Mr Mallya because he had entered the country on a valid passport.

Mr Mallya, who is said to owe banks $1bn (£600m), has denied wrongdoing.

Mr Jaitley said there was "another legal procedure for extradition which will continue".

"Their (UK's) procedures say that if his entry into the country was on a valid passport and later it got cancelled then that doesn't result in an automatic deportation," Mr Jaitley said.

Earlier, India's external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the UK "acknowledges the seriousness of the allegations" against Mr Mallya.

"They (the UK) have asked the government of India to consider requesting mutual legal assistance or extradition," he said.

It is alleged Mr Mallya repeatedly failed to appear before investigators looking into financial irregularities at Kingfisher Airlines, which collapsed in 2013.

Mr Mallya said on Twitter in March that he was an international businessman who had to travel and denied that he was "fleeing" from India.

He said he was the victim of a "media witch hunt".

The flamboyant businessman made his fortune selling beer under the Kingfisher brand and branched out into aviation, Formula 1 racing, and Indian cricket.

His debts were incurred by the failure of his airline and he is being pursued by a group of mainly state-run banks who lent him money.

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