With the opposition led by the Congress training its guns on the BJP government for letting Vijay Mallya leave the country, it is interesting to note that this is not the first time such a thing is happening.
"This government is part and party in the criminal conspiracy in him fleeing the country," said Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad reacting to Mallya’s escape.
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya is mired in a slew of cases with the CBI slapping charges on him for diverting bank loans besides SBI seeking his arrest for loan default. The Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case against him and others in connection with the alleged default of over Rs 900 crore loan from IDBI bank. A consortium of 17 PSU banks filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking a direction that Mallya be restrained from leaving India. Several former Kingfisher employees have been left with unpaid dues as well.
The following are some other cases in point where a high-profile person who was facing charges managed to escape the country to foreign shores:
Ruling govt: Congress (1984)
He was the CEO of Union Carbide, the company whose plant in Bhopal leaked poisonous gas and killed thousands of people in 1984, which came to be later known as the ‘Bhopal gas tragedy’. When Anderson returned to the country four days after the deadly incident, he was arrested on his arrival in Bhopal albeit for a few hours only, before he got bail and left the country. He never returned to face trail. It is suspected that the government of PM Rajiv Gandhi was pressured by the US to let him go.
Ruling govt: Congress (1990)
He was an Italian businessman who is alleged to have been the prime beneficiary in the Rs 64 crore Bofors kickbacks deal but managed to escape the country. Congress has maintained that they took whatever steps they could to bring him back but the extradition of an individual depends on the extradition treaty between countries.
The CBI had registered a complaint in 1990 over alleged kickbacks in the $1.4 billion contract signed between the Indian government and Swedish arms company AB Bofors for supply of over 400 howitzers. The contract was signed in 1986.
The CBI managed to get red corner notice issued against Quattrocchi by the Interpol but he never came back to India to join investigations. The charge sheet that had Quattrocchi as an accused was filed in 1999. Attempts were made to extradite Quattrocchi from Malaysia in 2003 and from Argentina in 2007 but were not successful.
Ruling govt: Congress (2012)
Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are two Italian marines who are accused of killing two Kerala fishermen in 2012. In January, the Supreme Court allowed Latorre to stay in his country until April 30 for medical treatment. He has been in Italy since September 12, 2014 when he was first allowed to go back after he suffered a brain stroke. However, there were reports that he will not return to India to face trial but senior advocate Soli Sorabjee, appearing for the marines, dismissed such rumours in January this year. On January 12, 2016, Senator Nicola Latorre –Head of Italian Senate’s defence committee- said that Latorre will not return to India. Following this, CM Oommen Chandy said that Kerala will ask PM Modi to intervene in the matter to try and get him back.
Ruling govt: Congress (2012)
The Enforcement Directorate charged Lalit Modi in 2012 in a money laundering case for cheating BCCI in granting overseas telecast rights for the IPL tournament held in 2009. Modi escaped to UK on the ground that he was facing a threat to his life and has never returned to India. India recently approached Interpol seeking an early notification of the Red Corner Notice (RCN) sought by the ED against the former IPL chairman in the money laundering case. A special court in Mumbai had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Modi in the same case and the extradition request was granted on the basis of which ED wanted an Interpol RCN issued in 2015.