Its beginning of the end of his good times, as Vijay Mallya is arrested by Scotland yard in London on charges of fraud. Indian government which has been working the diplomatic channel pressing the Indo-UK extradition treaty, has said its a 'big win'.
"We are working continuously to ensure that guilty are punished and are not let off", said Santosh Gangwar, Mos Finance to India Today.
The absconder businessman who escaped to London last year when faced with pressure to repay his debt of Rs 9000 crore to public banks, Vijay Mallya has refused to co-operate with the Indian investigation agencies so far. He has ignored repeated summons from Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI, even cried 'witch-hunt' blaming the media for maligning him but now he faces the long awaited legal proceedings.
ED has tried to raise red corner interpol notice against him and the Centre sought his deportation from London, but both were rejected.
That's when Indian government took the Mutual legal assistance treaty route last may, flagging off concerns of the financial fraud of Vijay Mallya. It was the key meeting in London between the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and UK premier Theresa May in March this year that pushed the case. Infact at an event at London School of Economics, Arun Jaitley had even commented that "democracy is liberal enough to permit defaulters to stay".
Scotland Yard confirmed in a statement that "Metropolitan Police's extradition Unit arrested Vijay Mallya on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud"
The centre is already mulling the next step which is to extradite Vijay Mallya, but it is easier said than done. The first step has been taken after UK ratified India's request on February 21 for Mallya's extradition and Westminster Magistrates Court has issued a warrant for his arrest. Although he got bail today, the Indian authorities will now have to help the prosecution to present water tight evidence against Mallya.
"Government is following all legal procedures to ensure that he is brought back, we will not spare him", said Santosh Gangwar, MoS Finance exclusively to India Today.
For now Vijay Mallya has claimed that he is innocent and tweeted "Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected"