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MEA refuses to divulge details on Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi extraditions

The MEA response to the RTI stated that details cannot be shared under a section of the RTI act that bars making public details that can impede an investigation

Currently, the ED is seizing assets linked to offenders, including Vijay Mallya (left) and Nirav Modi
Stock Photo

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has refused to share details on the extradition of fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, citing an RTI clause that bars disclosure of information which would "impede the process of prosecution of offenders".

In a reply to an RTI query, it said requests for extradition of Mallya and Modi have been sent to the UK government.

"They are under the consideration of the concerned UK authorities. Copy of communications in this regard may not be provided under Section 8 (1) (h) of Right to Information (RTI) Act," the ministry said in response to the application filed by this PTI journalist.

The section bars disclosure of "information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders".

Embattled liquor tycoon Mallya is out on bail in the UK. The former Kingfisher Airlines' boss is wanted in India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs 9,000 crore.

India's request to extradite Mallya was approved by UK home secretary in February this year.

He has appealed against his extradition order, a hearing which is now scheduled in the UK High Court on July 2.

Fugitive diamontaire Nirav Modi is also contesting extradition proceedings in London.

He has been denied bail for the third time in his extradition case to India to face charges in the Punjab National Bank fraud and money laundering case amounting to up to $2 billion and will continue to be lodged in a London jail described by his lawyers as "unliveable".

He has been lodged in the prison since his arrest in March this year.

India's investigating agencies -- the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) -- are looking into these high profile corruption cases involving Mallya and Modi.

In a reply to another RTI query, the Ministry of External Affairs said 132 extradition requests were forwarded to foreign governments in the last four years.

"Details may not be provided under Section 8 (1) (h) of RTI Act," it said, when asked to provide details of offenders and copy of communications to the foreign governments.