British High Commissioner to India Sir Philip Barton on Thursday said that the UK government cannot set a timeline for the extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya.
Sir Barton was asked a question during an online media briefing about whether Mallya has sought asylum in the UK.
“The UK government and the courts, which are independent of the government, are absolutely clear about their roles in preventing people avoiding justice by moving to another country. We are all determined to play our part in any case, and to make sure that we are working together to ensure that criminals can’t escape justice by crossing national borders,” he said.
Replying to a question on when the UK authorities are likely to extradite Mallya to India, he said, “The extradition of Vijay Mallya is an ongoing legal case and I can’t comment any further on it. I can’t say anything at all about timescales.”
At the same time, the newly-appointed envoy said the UK government is aware of the importance India attaches to the case.
India has urged the UK not to consider requests for asylum by Mallya. The UK government had earlier indicated that Mallya is unlikely to be extradited to India anytime soon, as there is a legal issue that needs to be resolved before his extradition can be arranged.
In May this year, Mallya lost his appeals in the UK Supreme Court against his extradition to India to face money laundering and fraud charges.
Mallya has been based in the UK since March 2016 and remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.