The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Friday that fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya cannot be extradited to India because of a “secret legal matter” in the United Kingdom.

In May, the UK high court had rejected Mallya’s plea to approach Supreme Court against the extradition proceedings. However, a “secret” proceeding has delayed his departure.

“We have been informed that there is a secret legal matter that is yet to be resolved, and that without its resolution, he cannot be extradited,” MEA spokesperson Srivastava said.

“We are not a party to this matter and we continue to be in touch with the UK government. He has exhausted all avenues for appeal and after that, we are in constant touch with the UK government so that he is extradited to India as soon as possible,” he added.

In March 2016, the liquor baron and former Member of the Parliament flew to the UK to escape from the some of the Indian banks. These banks claim that Mallya owes as much as ₹9,000 crore and since then the government investigative agency has closed in on him to recover the loan amount.