The Indian government on Thursday denied that the issue of Vijay Mallya’s extradition was discussed at the two-hour-long meeting between Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and his British counterpart, Patsy Wilkinson, the second permanent secretary in the the British Home Office, in New Delhi.
Ashok Prasad, adviser in the Ministry of Home Affairs, on Thursday, told ANI that the matter wasn’t discussed as it was sub judice. He added that the discussions, instead, focused on framework and process of extradition in general.
However, earlier reports suggested that the Indian government had raised the issue with the British counterpart, and that a one-on-one contact be established between the prosecuting agencies in both the countries.
India had sent out a formal extradition request for Mallya on 8 February, as per the extradition treaty signed between India and the UK in 1992.
Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who was sent back to India last October to face trial for his involvement in the post-Godhra riots of 2002, was the only one to be extradited from the the UK since the signing of the treaty 24 years ago.
During the meeting, it was said that the countries reportedly agreed to exchange information with each other regarding criminals wanted by India in the UK and vice versa.
Both sides also agreed that India and the UK will sign an MoU in July on reworking the agreement on security cooperation.
India also offered to drop cases registered against one Bangladeshi national, who is lodged in Assam, so that he can be extradited to the UK. In return, sources said, India expects reciprocity that if people wanted by New Delhi are mired in any British case, those should be dropped and extradition facilitated.
During the two-hour meeting, other issues such as presence of certain Sikh militant elements in the UK, sharing of intelligence inputs on a real-time basis particularly with regard to the ISIS, terror modules being busted in the UK and Europe were reportedly discussed.
Sources also added that Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, strengthening of the intelligence-sharing mechanism and visa- related issues were also deliberated upon by the secretaries of both the countries.
(With PTI and ANI inputs)