French authorities have acted on a request from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to seize fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya’s assets worth €1.6 million in a money laundering case.
Mallya, once a liquor baron, is wanted for financial frauds in connection with his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya, who owes ₹9,000 crore to banks in India, fled to the UK in 2016 and has been living there since. The government in India is trying to get him extradited.
The Supreme Court had recently asked the Union government to file a status report on the extradition case against Mallya.
The Centre told the court that even though the highest court in the UK had ordered that Mallya be extradited, some “secret” proceedings that are “judicial” in nature are delaying his extradition. It said it is not aware of the “secret” proceedings and had no details of by when he would be extradited.
On August 31, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition from Mallya asking it to review the contempt verdict passed against him. It had then asked him to appear before it on October 5 and had directed the home affairs ministry to ensure he was present in court. The Centre had then told the court about the “secret proceedings” delaying the extradition.
The court rejected a petition from Mallya’s lawyer EC Agarwala requesting that he be discharged from the case.