Setback for Vijay Mallya: UK High Court rejects his plea against extradition to India

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Updated: Apr 20, 2020 5:34 PM

A total of 17 banks are hunting the 64-year old Vijay Mallya for an alleged sum of Rs 9,000 crore.

The two-member bench of the Royal Courts of Justice in London, dismissed the appeal in a judgment handed down remotely due to Coronavirus lockdown.

Former Kingfisher boss Vijay Mallya on Monday lost an appeal in a British High Court against his extradition order to India. The embattled liquor tycoon is staring at a jail term in India if the Indian authorities extradite him over charges of fraud and money laundering. The hearing in the British high court was a result of his appeal against the extradition request, according to News agency PTI. Mallya left India in 2016 for the United Kingdom, after claiming that he wanted to be closer to his children, who were already in the United Kingdom. A total of 17 banks are hunting Mallya for an alleged sum of Rs 9,000 crore.

The two-member bench of the Royal Courts of Justice in London, dismissed the appeal in a judgment handed down remotely due to Coronavirus lockdown. “We consider that while the scope of the prima facie case found by the SDJ [Senior District Judge] is in some respects wider than that alleged by the Respondent in India [Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED)], there is a prima facie case which, in seven important respects, coincides with the allegations in India,” the bench of Lord Justice Stephen Irwin and Justice Elisabeth Laing ruled.

Reacting to the news, CBI said that it is a significant achievement in war against economic fugitives. “UK court’s decision [of] quashing Vijay Mallya’s plea against extradition validates CBI’s painstaking and meticulous investigation,” PTI quoted CBI officials as saying.

Mallya now, according to The Indian Express, has 14 days to apply for a certificate stating that a point of law of general public importance has been overlooked by both the magistrate court and the high court. If he secures such a certificate from the UK High Court, he will be able to knock on the doors of the UK Supreme Court. Incase Mallya fails to secure such a certificate his case will go to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel, for a final say on the matter.

The 64-year old was arrested in 2017 by the UK Metropolitan police on behalf of Indian authorities. He is on bail since then. Mallya, after fleeing India has repeatedly expressed his willingness to pay the money back to Indian banks. Recently, in March, Mallya asked Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to consider his offer of repaying 100% money that he owes to the banks. I have made repeated offers to pay 100 per cent of the amount borrowed by KFA to the Banks. Neither are Banks willing to take money and neither is the ED willing to release their attachments which they did at the behest of the Banks. I wish the FM would listen in this time of crisis,” Mallya said in a series of tweets. He also praised the implementation of the nation-wide lockdown to battle the coronavirus. 

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