Vijay Mallya’s extradition will now be referred to the UK Secretary of State. The absconding businessman now has 14 days to appeal the extradition order.
In a major blow to embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, a UK court on Monday ordered the extradition of former Kingfisher Airlines boss. The ruling, however, is a major victory for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, which has been fighting to secure the former liquor baron’s extradition to India. Vijay Mallya’s extradition will now be referred to the UK Secretary of State. The absconding businessman now has 14 days to appeal the extradition order.
Prior to appearing before the court, Mallya had said: “Whatever the judgment is, my legal team, will review it and take appropriate action.” He also added that he is willing to repay his debt and whatever he said in his tweets is genuine. “I want to disprove the narrative that I stole money. There is nothing ingenuine about my offer, I have made the offer before the court of law. I won’t disrespect the court by making a bogus offer.”
The 62-year-old former boss of now defunct Kingfisher Airlines is in self-imposed exile in London and is wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs. 9,000 crore. He had left the country after the CBI had diluted his lookout notice in 2016 after several banks lobbied together to start legal proceedings to recover the loans. Mallya has been on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year.
The ‘once king of good times’ has been defending himself and pleading to pay back the debt he owes to banks and the government. He has accused media of spoiling his reputation and refuted all the allegations against him, calling them false.
On December 5, Mallya, in a series of tweets, offered to pay back 100% of the principal amount, against his defunct airline Kingfisher Airlines, that he owed to banks. “I am offering to pay 100% back. I humbly request the banks and government to take it,” he said in a tweet.
“Politicians and Media are constantly talking loudly about my being a defaulter who has run away with PSU Bank money. All this is false. Why don’t I get fair treatment and the same loud noise about my comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court? Sad,” he added.
A day later, when India confirmed the news of extradition of alleged AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal middleman Christian Michel, Mallya said that he made the settlement offer and wanted to stop the narrative that he stole the money.
“Respectfully to all commentators, I cannot understand how my extradition decision or the recent extradition from Dubai and my settlement offer are linked in any way. Wherever I am physically, my appeal is “Please take the money”. I want to stop the narrative that I stole money,” he tweeted on December 6.