Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested in London by the Scotland Yard on Tuesday, weeks after India asked the UK to extradite him under the bilateral treaty, according to various media reports.
Three hours after he was arrested, Mallya got bail from the Westminster Magistrate Court, which is reportedly an established practise in UK. Mallya will now have to face trial in the court, which will decide whether or not he will be extradited to India. According to reports, this process may take several months.
A release from the Metropolitan Police's Extradition Unit read:
"Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Extradition Unit have this morning, Tuesday 18 April arrested a man on an extradition warrant.
Vijay Mallya, 61 (18/12/1955), was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud.
He was arrested after attending a central London police station, and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court later today, 18 April."
In February, India handed over a request for extradition from the CBI to the UK High Commission in New Delhi. This after a year long drama where the Indian government wanted UK to deport Mallya, whereas the latter refused and asked them to make a formal extradition request.
Times Now quotes sources as saying that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had taken up the issue of Mallya's extradition with the UK government at the highest level, including Prime Minister Theresa May.
"The UK Home Department on February 21 conveyed India's request for the extradition of Mallya and this was certified by the Secretary of State and sent to Westminster Magistrate Court to consider the issuing of releasing a warrant," Gopal Baglay, an MEA spokesperson, said earlier.
Mallya left India on March 2, 2016 for London, days after a consortium of 17 banks moved the Debt Recovery Tribunal to hear a July 2013 petition to recover dues of Rs 9,081 crore, including interest, that was loaned to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
In June. 2016 the Enforcement Directorate had told Interpol that it was "obligatory" on its part to issue Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Mallya in connection with an alleged Rs 9000 crore bank loan fraud.
In a detailed communication to Interpol, the agency had said that it had followed all legal procedures for seeking RCN against him. It has also said that orders were issued by the courts after hearing the counsels of ED and Mallya, officials said.
Mallya has since offered to negotiate with the banks for a one-time settlement of dues and sought the Supreme Court's intervention.
Banks had previously shot down Mallya's offer of Rs 6,868 crore in April 2016 to settle the dues.
Mallya's arrest comes as a shot in the arm for the central government, especially since Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promising that he will go after the big guns.