Will Vijay Mallya be granted asylum in UK?

Vijay Mallya

Chennai: Fugitive billionaire Vijay Mallya has applied to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for ‘another route’ to be able to stay in the UK, the liquor tycoon’s barrister representing him in bankruptcy proceedings in the High Court of London confirmed during a remote hearing.

Mallya,whose legal challenge to the Indian government’s extradition request was turned down at the Supreme Court level in the UK last year, remains in Britain on bail until Patel signs off on the order for him to be extradited to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering related to the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

The UK Home Office has so far only confirmed on background that a confidential legal process remains ongoing before the extradition order can be executed.

This had raised widespread speculation that Vijay Mallya had sought asylum in the UK, details of which are neither confirmed nor denied by the Home Office in Britain while an application is pending.

“The extradition was upheld but he (Vijay Mallya) is still here because as you know there is another route for him to apply to the Secretary of State for status,” said Vijay Mallya’s barrister Philip Marshall, when specifically asked by Deputy Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Nigel Barnett about the status of the extradition proceedings.

It is likely that the reference is to an asylum route which, according to legal experts, would depend upon whether Vijay Mallya applied for asylum prior to the extradition request or after.

The court on Friday also heard how Vijay Mallya, who submitted written evidence for the hearing, was in a ‘constrained’ position as a close relative had passed away as a result of Covid-19.

 

NT Bureau