New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said that her ministry will seek extradition of former IPL chairman Lalit Modi and industrialist Vijay Mallya, both in Britain, once it receives revised requests from the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“As soon as extradition request is received about these two (Lalit Modi and Vijay Mally), we will forward it,” she said at a press conference here.
Sushma Swaraj’s respond came in a reply to a question why India is not getting support from Britain on the extradition of Modi and Mallya.
Mallya has fled India earlier this year with more than Rs. 9,000 crore of outstanding dues to 18 Indian banks. A non-bailable arrest warrant has been issued by a Mumbai court against the business tycoon.
The ED is probing Modi and other executives associated with IPL since 2012 for alleged violation of anti-money laundering laws.
Sushma Swaraj said the NDA government is keen for “extradition”, or the formal process by which a criminal suspect held by one government is handed over to another government for trial or to serve his sentence, of the two and reiterated that the previous UPA government in contrast used to talk only about “deportation”, or mere expulsion of a person from a country.
She xplained that her ministry had earlier received ED’s “extradition request” for Mallya but returned it, seeking some changes.
“ED had sent us extradition request for Vijay Mallya. Our team suggested few changes which has been sent to the ED. Once we receive the revised application from ED, we will forward the request,” she said.
The ministry is also waiting for ED’s revised version for the extradition process.
A special court in Mumbai in March this year issued an order allowing the ED to begin extradition proceedings against Modi in connection with the money laundering probe against him and others.
In August last year, the agency moved the Interpol to get a red corner notice issued against Modi but the international police organisation has not obliged yet.
Interpol authorities have sought additional information from ED investigators on their money laundering case against Modi as part of the process to issue such a world-wide warrant against him.
Sushma Swaraj also said India’s High Commissioner to Britain, Navtej Sarna, was not at fault for the presence of business tycoon Mallya at a book release function in London.
“Unka koi dosh nahi hai (there was no fault of the High Commissioner),” she told reporters sticking to the ministry’s line that Mallya was not originally in the invitee list of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
“The moment the High Commissioner saw Mallya, he staged a walkout. So, I don’t understand what is the controversy about?” she said.