In the second major achievement for the Narendra Modi government in its attempts to bring absconders, wanted by Indian authorities, to justice, the Westminster Magistrate Court in London today ordered the extradition of beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya to India to stand trial on the charges brought by the CBI and ED.
Giving her verdict, Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot referred the decision to the UK Home Office for the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to pass an order based on the verdict. Arbuthnot found prima facie a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
When asked by reporters whether he regrets going to the UK, Mallya said, “The end of the day that’s what the courts are for, that’s how lawyers thrive. Do I regret being in a situation where I’m reading legal papers and paying legal fees? Yes, I do. I could have done something more productive with my time”.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley welcomed the UK court verdict while taking a dig at the erstwhile UPA government. “Great Day for India. No one who cheats India will go scot free. The Judgement of UK’s Court is welcome. An offender benefited during the UPA. The NDA brings him to book,” Jaitley wrote on Twitter.
Welcoming the UK court’s decision to extradite Mallya to India, the CBI said, “As per media reports, we have come to know Vijay Mallya’s extradition ordered by a London court. We welcome the decision”. “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 extradition process,” said the CBI spokesperson.
Neetu Sharma, a former Kingfisher employee, also welcomed the UK court’s decision. She said: “It sets things in motion, he has got charges like siphoning & diverting funds. It is not just a case of repayment of money it also involves a lot of criminal deeds. He should face the music.”