UK govt approves Vijay Mallya's extradition, but he can appeal
05 February 2019
British home secretary Sajid Javid on Sunday signed the order for extradition of bankrupt liquor baron Vijay Mallya back to India. Mallya, however, can appeal the Westminster magistrate’s order.
The decision comes eight weeks after chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot sent the case to him for a decision to be taken on whether to order extradition and exactly two years after the Indian government first handed over the extradition request to British High Commission in February 2017.
“On 3 February the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India. Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences,” a home office spokesperson said.
Mallya has to apply for leave to appeal in the high court within 14 days. If there is no appeal, he must be extradited within 28 days of the home secretary’s order. If the high court grants permission it will go on to consider the appeal.
If the high court decides against granting approval for appeal, the person, or a state concerned, can apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court against the high court’s decision.
India’s external affairs ministry said it welcomed UK decision on Mallya extradition and was awaiting early completion of the legal process.
The anticipated appeal process starts 14 days from now. I can now appeal the Westminster magistrate’s order. I could not do so till the home secretary made a decision. After the court decision I said I would appeal and now I can,” said a nonchalant Mallya.
The 63-year-old Mallya is accused of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud in relation to loans - now worth Rs9,000 crore - that he took from a consortium of 13 Indian banks to prop up his Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya has recently made an offer in the Karnataka high court, with the court’s permission, to repay all that he owes. He has shown assets in excess of what the banks claim, namely of Rs13,900 crore, and has offered a sale of them under judicial supervision to repay all his creditors.
In a series of tweets last week, he said there was no justice or fair play. “Every morning I wake up to yet another attachment by the DRT recovery officer” and the banks are “pursuing multiple frivolous litigations against me,” he tweeted.
The banks have succeeded in obtaining a freeze order on Mallya’s worldwide assets valued at Rs10,421 crore and are now bringing bankruptcy proceedings against Mallya. A hearing regarding this is expected to take place in the insolvency list in the London high court in the spring.