Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya was spotted at the Oval cricket grounds in England watching the India versus Australia World Cup match on Sunday.
Mallya, who is wanted in India in a Rs 9000 crore loan default case, is reportedly often seen attending cricket matches involving India in the UK.
“I am here to watch the game,” Vijay Mallya said when confronted by a reporter from ANI.
His son, Siddharth Mallya, later posted a photo of the two at the stadium on his Instagram account.
A consortium of 13 banks — led by the State Bank of India (SBI) — has been preparing to initiate loan recovery proceedings against Mallya, who fled India for the United Kingdom in March 2016.
On 5 February, the British government approved Mallya’s extradition to India, which has already been allowed by a lower court.
A special PMLA court had in January declared Mallya a fugitive economic offender paving the way for the government to confiscate his assets.
Mallya thus became the first tycoon to be named an economic offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 – the new law that aims to prevent financial fraud.
The request to declare Mallya a fugitive offender under the Act was filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before the court in November 2018.
According to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, a “fugitive economic offender” means any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a Scheduled Offence has been issued by any Court in India, who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
The 62-year-old has been on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year.
The UK High Court will in July hear Mallya’s plea challenging his extradition order.