Failed Indian Tycoons in Trouble


(Agencies)     ‘Britain has a long history of providing refuge to those fleeing political and religious persecution,’ said an official after news broke that Vijay Mallya had been arrested. India and Britain signed an extradition treaty in December 1993, but so far only one fugitive wanted by India has been extradited: Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who was sought in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.  In 2008, India extradited Maninderpal Singh Kohli to Britain in the Hannah Foster murder case. Extradition cases have not gone in India’s favour mainly due to Britain’s strong human rights laws, particularly the right to family life (Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights). In the case involving bookie Sanjeev Chawla, who was arrested in London in June last year over the cricket match-fixing scandal of 2000, UK officials wrote to Delhi Police asking for details about security arrangements and facilities in the jail he would be kept in.  His name is still in the request list. For extradition, the UK has placed India in category 2 countries, for which the process is arduous and long.  In category 1 are the US and European countries, which get preference. If the UK extradites Mallya, it will also have to move on other pending requests from India.The flamboyant businessman Mallya may have got bail hours after being arrested in London on Tuesday but Indian authorities appear optimistic about chances of his extradition from the UK even as they hustle to reel in other high-profile fugitives from various corners of the globe.  Metropolitan police arrested the 61-year-old who is being pursued by the CBI and ED over accusations of fraud tied to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. India had given a formal extradition request for Mallya on February 8 after he ignored court orders to return home and face trial for over Rs 9,000 crore (£1 billion) of unpaid debt. ‘Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in court started today as expected,’ Mallya tweeted after getting bail. Sources said it was a voluntary arrest and he was let off within three hours.