Mallya is arrested in London

Vijay Mallya the'King of Good Times

Vijay Mallya the 'King of Good Times'

Following his arrest and subsequent bail here, absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya downplayed the entire development saying that his surrender of passport, arrest and bail are all part of normal extradition proceedings. Despite the massive loans he had accumulated, the man who called himself "the king of good times" continued to lead a lavish lifestyle and was as much in the news for his flashy parties as his debts, prompting huge public anger. "Extradition hearing in court started today as expected", he posted on his Twitter account yesterday.

British authorities have informed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about the arrest.

Mallya left for Britain in March previous year after he was questioned by the courts to recover debts owed by him which were given as loans to his Kingfisher Airlines.

The metropolitan police said Mallya was arrested after attending a central London police station.

The government is not going to leave any stone unturned to get Mallya extradited and face prosecution in Indian courts, said Sudesh Verma.

Mallya, 61, secretly fled India in March previous year, owing more than US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds.

Mallya had earlier taken a swipe at the media, accusing it of "hyping" his arrest and blowing things out of proportion.

Indian television channels said he was granted bail at the hearing.

He had fled India on March 2, 2016 and has repeatedly dismissed the charges against him. In January, an Indian court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans. "As far as the government of India is concerned, we take this issue of defaults against the financial system in India very seriously". He is the owner of a Formula One team.

Vijay Mallya has varied business interests, but if readers of these pages recognize his name, it's probably in his capacity as the head of the Force India F1 team.

His arrest came after a Delhi court had issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant against Mallya in connection with the 1995 FERA violation case. Last month, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said only one fugitive criminal Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel had been extradited from the United Kingdom in the last five years.

Until Britain leaves the EU, the person facing the extradition case has a final recourse-approaching the European Court of Human Rights.

Junior Finance Minister Santosh Gangwar told reporters that Mallya will be brought back to India and the due process of the law will be followed. The extradition treaty agreement's Article 9 also clearly states that the legal veracity of the charges were also crucial when it comes to approving extradition from British soil.

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