India, U.K. hold first Home Affairs Dialogue, Mallya not discussed

New Delhi [India], May 4 (ANI): India and the U.K. held its first Home Affairs dialogue on Thursday, keeping their focus on the need to further improve the process involved in matters of extradition.

Both sides expressed satisfaction in matters relating to extradition of wanted persons.

Both sides agreed to address the challenges of illegal migrants. The two sides will work together to ensure the smooth return of Indians overstaying in the U.K. subject to nationality verification.

Regarding criminal data sharing and strengthening cooperation in tackling serious and organised crimes, both, India and the U.K. expressed their satisfaction in the existing level of cooperation. Both sides also agreed to enhance and strengthen further the bilateral cooperation and work towards formalising the arrangements.

India raised the issue of visa related difficulties faced by Indian students, skilled professional and dependents of Indian diplomats. However, U.K. assured that it would be looked into.

The U.K. mentioned that it has been its constant endeavour to improve the visa process to promote people to people exchanges that exist between the two countries. It also briefed about the progress regarding the registered travelling services and great club announcements which were made during U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's visit in 2016.

Both, India and the U.K., laid emphasis on cooperation on anti-terrorism mechanism and to strengthen mutual support to check cyber crimes. Both sides agreed to formalise these arrangements.

During the talks, the case of Vijay Mallya's extradition was not discussed as individual cases are not taken up at this level.

"As far as the extradition, mutual assistance and other treaties are concerned, the discussion focused more on the procedures, processes, framework. The issue relating to the person (Vijay Mallya) you are referring to, and all general mutual legal assistance matters in extradition are basically judicial processes. Because they are judicial processes in the matter of Vijay Mallya, the matter is sub-judice," Ashok Prasad, Advisor, Ministry of Home Affairs said while briefing the media.

"These matters do not get discussed at this level and hence this matter was not discussed during the interaction," he added.

The Indian side was led by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and the U.K. delegation was led by Patsy Wilkinson, Second Permanent Secretary, Home Office, Government of U.K.

The meeting was held as a follow up of U.K. Prime Minister's visit to India in November, 2016 and the commitment of the two Prime Ministers for enhanced and strengthened Dialogue. (ANI)