‘Want them taken back for trial’: UK PM on Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi extradition.
Boris Johnson India visit: UK prime minister was scheduled to visit India last year but trip was postponed after Covid outbreak.
The United Kingdom has ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi and ‘we want them taken back to India for trial’, British prime minister Boris Johnson told reporters Friday after a meeting with prime minister Narendra Modi. Johnson was responding to a question on attempts to get Mallya and Nirav Modi to face charges of fraud running into tens of thousands of crores.
“… there are technicalities that have made it very difficult (but) the UK government has ordered their extradition and, from our point of view, we want them taken back to India for trial…” Johnson said.
‘We don’t welcome, I want to make it absolutely clear now, people who want to use our legal system to evade the law in India,” the British PM said.
Earlier today foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India’s expedition request had been noted by Johnson. “On issue of economic offenders, we’ve been pursuing this matter for some time at different levels with the UK. Our objective is to bring back those economic fugitives who’re wanted in India to face justice in this country. Matter was discussed during the bilateral talks.”
Mallya and Nirav Modi allegedly defrauded banks of tens of thousands of crores.
On Thursday external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters ‘India has been repeatedly highlighting the need to bring economic fugitives to justice as well as security concerns that may emanate from individuals who harbour anti-India positions…’
Nirav Modi and his wife Ami fled India in 2018 as soon as the massive public sector bank fraud came to light. He was arrested a year later and is currently in London’s Wandsworth Prison, from where he has appealed his extradition.
Vijay Mallya, a liquor baron who also owned the now-defunct Kingfisher Airline, has been in the UK since 2016 and is wanted in India over alleged fraud and money laundering charges.
In 2019 then UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed an extradition order.
UK PM Boris Johnson is in India on a brief visit that concludes today.
He landed in Gujarat yesterday, after which he visited Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram, manufacturing facilities and higher education institutions.
In Delhi to meet PM Modi today, the two leaders exchanged views on a number of key issues, including the India-UK defence partnership and a free trade agreement (FTA) that is expected to be finalised by the end of the year.
Shortly before he landed the UK High Commission said 1 billion GBP and 11,000 jobs would be created in Britain as a result of Indian investment.
In remarks after their talks, Johnson also touched on an expanded defence and security partnership, including plans to help India build its own fighter jets.
The war in Ukraine was also discussed, and Modi stressed the need for dialogue and diplomacy for an ‘immediate ceasefire and resolution’ and reiterated the importance of respecting territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries.
Both nations also agreed on the need for a free Indo-Pacific.
“Since last year, the threats of autocratic coercion have grown even further, therefore it is vital we deepen our cooperation including our shared interest in keeping the Indo-Pacific open and free,” Johnson said.