After the arrest of RBI’s one of the top ten defaulters and absconded business man Vijay Mallya, much has been anticipated about his extradition and deportation to India. Soon after his arrest by the Scotland Yard, the Westminster Magistrate Court released him on strict bail conditions after he deposited a bond worth 6,50,000 pounds (9 crore Indian rupees). Now it is the prerogative of the Indian government to follow the due process of Mallya’s extradition, which will be a cumbersome exercise on India’s part.
What is Extradition?
India and UK have signed the Extradition Treaty dated back in 1992 and enforced in 1993. The country requesting an offender extradite have to appeal in the UK court with the evidences in the complete paperwork form. Indian government is positive to extradite Vijay Mallya, as per the UK’s Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). After Mallya’s deportation, he is bound to face proceedings under the Indian Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Early Extradition Cases and India’s success rate:
The only extradition so far has been done of Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, a wanted in 2002 Gujarat riots case. Other high-profile cases have not been successful include those of IPL ideologue; Lalit Modi, music director Nadeem Saifi; accused and acquitted in the Gulshan Kumar murder case, Ravi Sankaran; accused in the Indian Navy war-room leak case, Tiger Hanif; wanted in connection with two bomb blasts in Gujarat in 1993 and some Khalistan movement individuals. India is also seeking the extradition of UK citizen, Raymond Varley, who is accused of child abuse in Goa.
Where India falls short in the process of extradition?
Poor paperwork and lack of evidence are key reasons of past setbacks in the UK Westminster Magistrate Court. On the contrary, the diplomatic procedures and formalities against Vijay Mallya case have been done with more care. CBI and Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have done the formalities in more paperwork taking a lesson from the past.
Why UK a safe heaven to refuge?
UK legislature has stringent human right laws that benefit an absconder if there is a possibility of him to be tortured and sentenced to death in the deporting country.
The well-known Scottish reformer Samuel Smiles called London “the world’s asylum, the refuge of the persecuted of all lands”. Fugitives with considerable wealth enjoy safe passage and heaven in UK. They can park their assets in UK under the provisions of UK legislature. Many fugitives from Russia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan are granted asylum in London.
One more reason is the role European Union, the EU. The person facing charges of extradition has rights to appeal in the European Court of Human Rights. According to the article 8 of European Conventions of Human Rights, several extradition cases have been refused on humanitarian grounds. We must learn that Britain is not completely out of the EU. So the chances for Vijay Mallya to appeal further is still there.
UK legislature Extradition Process in Category-2, where India falls:
– arrest under certified warrant
– the extradition hearing
– Secretary of state functions
– appeals (Against, Court’s appeal under section 26, 28, 32, appeal in Supreme Court)
– time for extradition and asylum claim
– withdraw extradition request
– competing extradition request
– consent to extradition
– post extradition matters
UK Courts’ orders to Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya’s former lawyer Harish Salve said it will take 4-6 months to extradite him. “He will exhaust all his legal options there in UK. There will be argument and arguments on whether he should be extradited or not,” said Salve.
After the hearing at Westminster Magistrate Court, Mallya is bound to follow legal implications. He has to be accessible all time until the proceedings. As he is traveling to UK on a diplomatic visa and has no passport, he can’t flee to any other country till the hearing is completed.