India said on Thursday it had applied to Britain to extradite Vijay Mallya to face trial after the liquor and aviation tycoon was charged with conspiracy and fraud over a loan to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya moved to Britain last March after banks sued to recover about $1.4 billion the Indian authorities say is owed by Kingfisher. He has dismissed the charges against him, saying on January 28 that “not one rupee was misused”.
Mallya’s press representative was not immediately available for comment on the Indian extradition request.
Earlier attempts by India to get Mallya, the head of the Force India Formula One team and one-time billionaire, deported have failed.
The new push comes after Mallya was charged in absentia last month by the Central Bureau of Investigation – along with nine former executives from the failed Kingfisher Airlines and IDBI Bank Ltd – over a 9 billion rupee ($135 million) loan.
“We have today handed over the request for the extradition of Mr Vijay Vittal Mallya, as received from the CBI, to the UK High Commission in New Delhi,” Vikas Swarup, spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs, told a news conference.
A spokesman for the British High Commission said it did not comment on individual cases.
The CBI, in its charge sheet, alleged Mallya diverted 2.54 billion rupees intended for Kingfisher Airlines from India. Kingfisher is also named as a defendant in the case.
Meanwhile, United Breweries, India’s top brewer and largely owned by global giant Heineken NV, has asked liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, its non-executive chairman, to step down from the board.
The move by the board of United Breweries, which makes and sells Kingfisher beer in India, follows a regulatory order and a meeting of its independent directors, the company said in a filing with the stock exchanges late on Wednesday.
(Feature image source: PTI)