New Delhi, May 12: The process to extradite Vijay Mallya has begun, but it is also a well known fact that this would be a tedious process. A lot at this point when it comes to an extradition tilts in Mallya's favour.
The Enforcement Directorate which has obtained a non-bailable warrant against him will send the extradition request to the United Kingdom.
The ED would also have an Interpol Red Corner Alert issued through the Central Bureau of Investigation. ED officials say that the process of deportation would have been much easier.
However UK has quoted the 1971 Immigration Act which does not require an individual to hold a valid passport in order to remain in the UK if they have extant leave to remain as long as their passport was valid when leave to remain or enter the UK was conferred.
For the probe agencies, the first priority would however be to recover the Rs 9,000 crore he owes the banks. The process of identifying the properties has already begun. Moreover the revenue officials in Goa have also allowed lenders to take physical possession of the Kingfisher Villa in Candolim worth around Rs 90 crore.
There is a lot more that needs to be done in this case, the ED official says. While attaching properties is one part of the investigation, the other relates to a case of money laundering that we are probing.
He needs to be present in order for us to make any progress in that case. Hence we have begun the extradition process, the ED official also said.
Getting Mallya back
The Enforcement Directorate will now approach the CBI to get a red corner notice issued against Vijay Mallya. The ED would quote the three summons it has issued to Mallya failing which the court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
Following this red corner alert, the UK will go through the case files and then take a decision. India's diplomacy with the UK will be put to test. However Mallya has various options even if the UK government decides to extradite him.
Mallya can go ahead and challenge the decision to extradite him before a local court. The courts would then take a call on the matter and at times such issues do drag on for some years the officer also said.
The officer also says that normally investigating agencies prefer the deportation process as it is faster. In the case of an extradition there is a lot of procedures which are often time consuming.