Fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya is understood to have applied for asylum in the UK in order to avoid extradition to India, The Guardian reported.
Last month, he lost the appeal in the London High Court against an extradition order to India on alleged charges of money laundering related to loans to defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya is understood to have sought asylum in the UK under article 3 of the European convention on human rights. Mallya had, in the past, challenged his extradition in the court on grounds of human rights conditions in Indian jails. He claims that the extradition to India could endanger his health.
Indian government has urged the UK not to consider the asylum. However, a spokesperson for the British High Commission in India said there is a further legal issue that needs to be resolved before Mr Mallya’s extradition can be arranged. The spokesperson declined to give any further details and said: “We are seeking to deal with this as quickly as possible.”
The former chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, who was once called as the “King of Good Times” due to his extravagant lifestyle, has been embroiled in financial scandals, and controversies since 2012. Mallya, who was a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) fled to the United Kingdom on 2nd March 2016 while a group of 17 Indian banks were trying to recover approximately £1 billion, paid as loans to his company. India’s Ministry of External Affairs subsequently revoked his passport. He resigned from the Rajya Sabha on 2 May 2016.
Kingfisher Airlines, established in 2005 by Mallya became insolvent in 2012 and had to closed down after it failed to pay salaries to its employees for 15 months
(Photo: Wikki. Vijay Mallya in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2008 in New Delhi)