UK FM Philip Hammond says Mallya matter sub-judice, declines to comment

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley shakes hands with UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
British Finance Minister Philip Hammond on Tuesday refused to comment on the extradition of embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya saying the matter is sub-judice.

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is here for the 9th UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue, said the extradition request by India is before a court and so he would not like to comment on the issue.

"I believe in one of the cases concerned, an extradition request has been made, and that is sub-judice... I am afraid I would not be able to discuss and it would not be proper for ministers to discuss. It is a matter before a court," he said in a reply to a question regarding the extradition of Mallya and former IPL boss Lalit Modi.

He was addressing a press briefing alongside Finance Minister Arun Jaitley after the talks.

Last month, the British government sent India's extradition request to a district judge, the first step towards a judicial decision that could bring Mallya back to India to face a court.

Facing heat over Rs 9,000 crore loan default by his now defunct Kingfisher airlines, Mallya had fled to the UK on March 2 last year. He left the country just as the Supreme Court ordered him to appear before it in person with his passport on March 30, 2016.

India had on February 8 this year handed over a formal extradition request to the British government to bring back Mallya under the India-UK extradition treaty.

In January this year, a CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant against the absconding businessman in the Rs 720-crore IDBI Bank loan default case.

In November last year, an Indian court had also allowed the Enforcement Directorate to send a request for extradition of former IPL chief Modi.

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