UK Court Orders Vijay Mallya's Extradition To India
In what could be a good news for India and the Indian government, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London has ordered to extradite liquor baron Vijay Mallya. Fugitive tycoon Mallya has been wanted in India for a loan fraud, amounting to an estimated Rs 9000 crores. The apex investigating agency of India, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has welcomed the judgment. Mallya now has 14 days time to appeal against the verdict to the UK High Court’s permission from the date of the Chief Magistrate ruling.
According to The Indian Express, while ordering Mallya’s extradition to India, UK Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot said there is, prima facie, a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Following the court’s verdict, Mallya now has 14 days to file an appeal against his extradition order. The matter of extradition would now be directed towards the United Kingdom Home Office (the British equivalent of Home Ministry), where Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, will pass an order based on the Magistrate Court’s verdict.
Meanwhile, CBI has welcomed the Mallya’s extradition order. While welcoming the move, a CBI spokesperson said, “We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing the extradition process,” as reported by The Indian Express.
Mallya offers to pay back
Earlier, on December 5, Mallya, who was undergoing the extradition trial abroad had offered to pay back 100 per cent of the principal loan that he owes to the Indian custodian of banks. Just five days before the UK court was about to give the verdict on Mallya’s extradition case, the absconding businessman in a series of tweets asks the Indian government to “please take” his money. Mallya’s Twitter revelation had come hours after UK “middleman” Christian Michel was extradited from UAE for his alleged role in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
While offering to pay to the Indian banks, Mallya said, “Airlines struggling financially partly because of high ATF prices. Kingfisher was a fab airline that faced the highest ever crude prices of $ 140/barrel. Losses mounted and that’s where Banks money went.”
He further says that his extradition is “separate and will take its own legal course”. Claiming to give importance to the people’s money he asks the Indian government to take all the money. He says, “The most important point is public money and I am offering to pay 100% back. I humbly request the Banks and Government to take it.”
The money that never came back
The 62-Year-old businessman had availed huge loans from many banks. In 2016, a few banks together reached the Supreme Court and initiated legal proceedings against Mallya to recover an outstanding of more than Rs 9,000 crores of the loan, as reported by the NDTV.
After leaving India, Mallya had earlier claimed that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving the country, however, he later backtracked on his statement and said that no formal meeting took place between him and Jaitley and he only “happened” to meet the minister in Parliament, as reported by The Times Of India.
In February last year, India formally asked for his extradition. Earlier this year, “after breaking a long silence” Mallya had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that he is making all his efforts to settle his dues to banks. However, he had been made the “Poster Boy” of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger by media channels. He further said that he did not get any response from the government of his letter.