London Court orders extradition of Vijay Mallya to India

Wednesday, 12 Dec, 2018

There are multiple bailable and non-bailable warrants issued against him in various courts of India following complaints by numerous government agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

If the verdict goes against Mallya, the judge may grant him permission to appeal in a higher court.

The 62-year-old liquor tycoon faces a case of loan of Rs 9,000 crore, besides allegations of money laundering and diversion of loan funds.

England's Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who has specialized in handling the extradition cases, is hearing the case. So even though Vijay Mallya is not coming back any time soon, it is a shift in India's perception overseas and how our judicial system, our courts are seen.

The Court in London ruled that Mallya can be sent to India to face fraud charges. The matter of Mallya's extradition has now been referred to UK's Secretary of State.

The decision came six days after British national and middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Christian Michael, was extradited to India from Dubai. "We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process", reported ANI.

Explaining the proceedings, the CBI official said that they had built a watertight case and it was on this basis that the order of extradition was passed. The Judgment of UK's Court is welcome. He set up the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines in 2005.

The last stage is the Supreme Court.

Outlining how Mallya went on to frustrate India's efforts to get the funds back, the judge termed his action to hide $40 million paid to him after the sale of United Breweries to Diageo as "most questionable".

"There was no evidence which allowed me to find that if extradited, Mallya was at risk of suffering a flagrant denial of justice", she added. "I do not accept that the courts in India are there to do what the politicians tell them to do... there is a prima facie case, that there is no evidence that the prosecution is politically motivated".

The ruling marked a significant point in the high-profile extradition trial that has lasted over a year. "It is not uncommon for a court of appeal to overturn the verdict of a lower court".