Bengaluru, May 24: Invoking the UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to bring Vijay Mallya back from the United Kingdom is considered to be a better bet for the Enforcement Directorate. After much consultation with the legal experts, the ED decided to invoke the MLAT rather sending in an extradition request.
Legal experts explain that this is a better option for the Enforcement Directorate considering the amount of time an extradition request can take. The MLAT makes it clear that during a criminal investigation, the custody of a person can be sought.
Why MLAT is a better option for the ED?
Officials explain that if one were to seek the extradition of a person, then the process is a long drawn one. A chargesheet would need to be filed and shared with the UK. The authorities would then take a call on the issue. Moreover the extradition request can also be challenged before a court by the person in question.
One must also bear in mind that the success rate where extraditions from the UK to India is concerned is more than poor.
However if the MLAT is invoked, then there is a clause in the agreement between the two nations that the person in question can be transferred. It states that in the course of a criminal investigation, the person can be transferred for the purpose of questioning or to give evidence.
It is a clause that is usually invoked when the probe agency wants assistance in the investigation and is considered to be less time consuming.
For the MLAT with the UK which was signed in the year 1992 to be invoked, then the ED would need to provide a set of documents.
These would include the non bailable warrant that had been issued by the court against Vijay Mallya. A court in Mumbai had issued a non bailable warrant against Mallya last month.