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Non-bailable warrant against Mallya, but will he dodge jail yet again?

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 6 August 2016, 13:40 IST

The Patiala House Court today issued non-bailable warrants against liquor baron Vijay Mallya in a cheque bouncing case.

The court has asked Mallya to be present in the court on 4 November. It has also asked the Ministry of External Affairs to send a non-bailable warrant to Mallya as he is currently residing in London.

The court said, "Despite repeated orders, Vijay Mallya hasn't appeared in the court. Need to take coercive steps to ensure his appearance in court.

It is inevitable for state machinery to intervene, assure Mallya's presence."

GMR-led Delhi International Airport (DIAL), which operates the capital's Indira Gandhi International Airport, had moved the Patiala House Court after three cheques, each for Rs 7.5 crore, issued by the airline were not honoured.

The grounded airline had issued the cheques towards payment for services availed by them at the IGI airport here.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court also refused to quash summons issued by a trial court against Mallya.

In the High Court, Mallya's counsel had argued he was not involved in day-to-day affairs of Kingfisher Airlines, and could not be held liable in the cases filed. But the court had refused to quash the summon.

Though, the court has issued a non-bailable warrant, it seems as if Mallya, who has defaulted on a loan of a total sum of ‎Rs 5,000 crore, has the upper hand.

Because, first of all, the immigration rules of Britain mandate that an immigrant holding a valid British passport‎, and who hasn't been charged with a criminal offence, cannot be extradited to be prosecuted and tried in his country of origin.

Many of Mallya's properties have been confiscated- the aircraft he owned have been grounded, public sector banks from which he borrowed the maximum sums have moved court to attach the properties he owned, but the wily business magnate may still get away with massive fraud.

Instead of surrendering to India's law-enforcement agencies, Mallya has termed the recovery-of-dues moves as an act of political vendetta.

And as per the tenets of international law, unless criminality is established, it's nearly impossible to extradite a person from another country.

In May this year, when, Mallya literally fled to Britain to escape the long arm of the law, the Indian authorities tried their level best to bring him to book. But he is yet to be convicted of any offence. ‎The Bangalore court hearing his case is yet to convict him. And, it is essential to bear in mind that the issuance of a non-bailable Warrant does not mean that a person has been held guilty of a crime.

-With inputs from Saurav Datta

First published: 6 August 2016, 13:40 IST