Will Mallya Go Scot Free?
There are legitimate fears that despite both the diplomatic and persol passports of Vijay Mallya having been revoked (for failing to respond to three Enforcement Directorate summonses), the government of India may fail to make him come to India to face trial for the Rs 9,431.65 crore that he owes to 13 banks. Vijay Mallya has a home in London and a resident status with the British government that should see him through for quite some time. He is reported to have resigned his membership of the Rajya Sabha a day before he was due to be expelled from it. In a letter addressed to the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, he is understood to have also written, “Recent events prove that I will not get a fair trial or justice.” He has apparently claimed that the allegations against him were baseless, and has accused the Fince Ministry of providing false information to the ethics committee. It might now be wellnigh impossible for India to get Vijay Mallya either deported or extradited to India. He is known to have several supporters in Britain who would willingly lobby for due protection being extended to him since he has resident status in Britain. Not surprisingly, people have started asking whether the government of India might not have been better off accepting his offer to pay up Rs 4,000 crore (later revised to Rs 6,000 crore). After all, much of what he owes to the 13 banks comprises interest. The banks have lost an opportunity to get back a substantial part of what Mallya owes them. They may now get back nothing at all.