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Extremely exasperated by the immediate bail granted to liquor baron Vijay Mallya soon after his arrest in London, an irked Congress on Tuesday urged the Centre not to befool the people, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should build up pressure on the United Kingdom to handover the beleaguered businessman to India.
Crediting the Congress' campaign leading to submission of Mallya's extradition request, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala questioned as to why was the liquor baron not arrested when the case was first registered against him in 2015.
"Is it not a fact that on July 29, 2015, the CBI registered a case and investigated Vijay Mallya? Why was he not arrested? Why was he permitted to go scot-free?" Surjewala told ANI.
Surjewala also blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government for not sending the request of deportation but of extradition, adding the move would have led to immediate handing of Mallya to India.
"After three years of relentless campaign by the Congress Party, finally the request for extradition was submitted on February 9, 2017, by the Government of India to the British authorities. RThe request for deportation was not given. That would have led to immediate handing of Vijay Mallya, who has fled with Rs. 9,091 crore of India's banks and the people from here to London under the watch of BJP Government. The reason was extradition can take up to a dozen years, it is only step one," he said.
"BJP and its government should stop befooling the people of India. Vijay Mallya is detained and the next minute he is granted bail. Is that the manner that we are going to seek Vijay Mallya's extradition?" he said.
However, taking an absolute opposite stand, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya termed it as Prime Minister Modi's achievement.
"It is Narendra Modi's commitment not to spare those who loot our country. This is one of its examples," he said.
"Mallya will have to pay back Rs. 9,000 crore. We will recover all money from Mallya that the previous government gave him. The Modi Government is committed towards all the NPA wilful defaulters," he added.
Somaiya also said that this has happened for the first time that an international agency took cognizance of the matter and took a resolute step.
Downplaying the din surrounding his sensational arrest in London, Mallya, who is on the run over money laundering charges, took a swipe at the Indian media.
"Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected," he tweeted.
Earlier today following Mallya's arrest, the Scotland Yard issued a statement saying that the absconding businessman was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud.
"Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Extradition Unit have this morning, Tuesday 18 April arrested a man on an extraction warrant.
He was arrested after attending a central London police station, and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court later today, 18 April," read the official statement of the Scotland Yard.
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, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed that Mallya's extradition has been stratified by the Secretary of State of the U.K. Government and added that a warrant would soon be released against him.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)