The ‘King of Good Times’ Vijay Mallya, who has been declared a proclaimed offender in India, was arrested briefly on Monday in London by Scotland Yard on India's request for his extradition on fraud charges.
Mallya is the owner of a Formula One team and earlier in the day he was busy tweeting about his racing cars on the track in Bahrain.
The 61-year-old liquor baron, wanted in India for defaulting on loans, was arrested after he appeared at a central London police station this morning. He was released on bail within a few hours later.
He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London and was seen walking out with his legal team a few hours later after being granted bail.
"It was a voluntary action. He will be out in a few minutes," said a member of Mallya's team at the court, without giving any further details of the bail conditions.
Mallya, whose now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than ₹9,000 crore to various banks, had fled India on March 2, 2016. In January, an Indian court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans.
Senior Indian officials described his arrest as the first salvo in the case, which will now involve a legal process in the UK to determine if Mallya can be extradited to India to face charges in Indian courts.
The arrest comes weeks after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had indicated that Mallya's extradition would feature in his talks during his visit to the UK.
India had given a formal extradition request for Mallya as per the extradition treaty between India and the UK through a note verbale on February 8.
The extradition process from the UK involves a number of steps including a decision by the judge whether to issue a warrant of arrest.
In case of a warrant, the person is arrested and brought before the court for preliminary hearing followed by an extradition hearing before a final decision is taken by the Secretary of State.
The wanted person has the right to appeal to the higher courts against any decision all the way up to the supreme court.
Earlier in January this year, a CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in the ₹720-crore IDBI Bank loan default case.
With NH Web Desk inputs