India in touch with the UK over extradition of Vijay Mallya: MEA
New Delhi, May 21: India is in touch with the British government over extradition of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya after he exhausted legal options against New Delhi's request to the UK to extradite him.
"The government of India is in touch with the UK regarding the next steps in his extradition process," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday. He was replying to a question on Mallya's extradition to India during an online media briefing.
Last week, Mallya lost his appeals in the UK Supreme Court against his extradition to India to face money laundering and fraud charges.
The UK top court's decision marked a major setback to the 64-year-old businessman as it came weeks after he lost his High Court appeal in April against an extradition order to India. Mallya has been based in the UK since March 2016 and remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.
The High Court verdict in April upheld the 2018 ruling by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot at the end of a year-long extradition trial in December 2018 that the former Kingfisher Airlines boss had a "case to answer" in the Indian courts.
Replying to another question on China's growing assertiveness in South China Sea, Srivastava said India has an abiding interest in peace and stability in the area. He said there must be freedom of navigation and overflight in South China Sea and differences, if any, should be resolved through dialogue without resorting to use of force.
China's aggressive military posturing in South China Sea is seen by many security experts as an attempt to leverage the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to push its agenda in the region. Following China's rising military presence, the US has sent additional deployment to the South China Sea, a strategically key trade route linking Southeast Asia.