Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in India for defaulting on over Rs 8,000 crore in bank loans, was arrested in London but within hours, a court granted him bail.
The Metropolitan Police said Mallya, 61, was taken into custody on Tuesday after attending a central London police station.
The Westminster Magistrates’ Court later gave him bail on a 650,000-pound bond. The next hearing of the case will be on May 17.
A Metropolitan Police statement said officers from the Extradition Unit arrested Mallya on an extradition warrant from India.
“Mallya was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud,” the statement said.
After getting bail, Mallya tweeted: “Usual Indian media hype. An extradition hearing in court started today as expected.”
Mallya fled to Britain in March 2016 after being pursued in courts by Indian banks seeking to recover Rs 8,191 crore owed by his now defunct Kingfisher Airline.
The banks had been able to recover only Rs 155 crore. Despite multiple injunctions, Mallya failed to appear before investigators — and then flew out of India.
In February, the Indian government handed over to the UK authorities a formal request for Mallya’s extradition, saying it had a legitimate case against him on charges of financial irregularities and loan default.
Below is the timeline of the legal twists and turns leading up to the arrest of liquor baron Vijay Vittal Mallya in London. But the extradition hearings in UK courts may take time before he is extradited to India.
April 18, 2017: Scotland Yard announces arrest after Mallya was asked to meet officers at central London police station. Later, gets bail.
February 8: Indian government formally requests the UK to extradite him. The UK Secretary of State sends the request to Westminster Magistrate’s Court.
November 10, 2016: Designated court orders seizure of domestic assets of Mallya and entities controlled by him.
June: Designated ED court issues ‘proclamation order’ asking Mallya to appear before it.
May: UK government takes note of serious allegations against Mallya, suggests request be made under Extradition Treaty (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty).
May 2: UK government declines a request for deportation, saying no requirement of a valid passport to remain in the country as long as entry was made on a valid one.
April 28: the Formal request made to the UK to deport Mallya to India.
April 23: Mallya’s passport revoked on ED’s request.
March-April: ED issues several summonses to Mallya to appear before it. Non-bailable warrant issued by designated courts (ED).
March 1: State Bank of India, other banks moves an application in Supreme Court to impound Mallya’s passport.
March 2: Mallya flees India, leaving behind Rs 8,191 of debts to 17 banks.
January: ED initiates investigations under Prevention of Money Laundering Act based on a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
July 2015: CBI initiates criminal investigations against Mallya. (IANS)