New Delhi: India on Thursday asked Britain to remove bottlenecks in the extradition process so that fugitives like liquor baron Vijay Mallya are brought home to justice sooner.
This was conveyed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi to his British counterpart, Patsy Wilkinson and sources privy to the meeting said the Indian side did not take the name of Mallya, or any other individual, but made Indiaâs concerns clear on long-pending extradition requests.
[quote]"We were advised by the British that if any particular name is mentioned it may be used by the person to cry political witch hunt in court when the extradition matter come up. Hence the decision to not name any individual was taken." a top officer told CNN News18.[/quote]
Newly appointed MHA spokesperson Ashok Prasad said, "the need to improve the extradition processes was discussed without naming individual cases."
[blurb]Sources said it was also decided to fecilitate point to point contact between prosecuting agencies like CBI and ED and Crown prosecution UK so that communication is timely. Lack of timely exchange of documents and information has been blamed in the past for unsuccessful extradition pleas in UK courts. India was caught unaware when Scotland yard recently arrested Vijay Mallya.
The issue of the presence of certain Sikh militant elements in the UK, sharing of intelligence inputs on a real-time basis particularly with regard to the ISIS - both from ISIS-held territories, and modules being busted in the UK and Europe, were discussed at the two-hour-long meeting, official sources said, reported PTI.
Counter-terror cooperation between India and Britain besides a host of other issues figured in the parleys.
Matters relating to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, strengthening of the intelligence-sharing mechanism and visa- related issues were also deliberated upon, the sources said.
[blurb]Mallya, 61, who has been living in Britain since last year, was arrested by Scotland Yard last month on India's extradition request.[/blurb]
Within hours of his arrest, Mallya, who is accused of cheating and fraud, was released on bail by a London court.
The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will argue the case on behalf of the Indian authorities when it comes before the court.
Mallya, whose now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines allegedly owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, had fled India on March 2, 2016.
[blurb]India and the UK have an extradition treaty, signed in 1992, but so far only one extradition has taken place under the arrangement - that of Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who was sent back to India last October to face trial for his involvement in the post-Godhra riots of 2002.
However, unlike Mallya, Patel had submitted to the extradition order without legal challenge. India had given a formal extradition request for Mallya as per the extradition treaty between India and the UK through a note verbale, a diplomatic communication, on February 8.