In a big relief to India, who has been making efforts to bring liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in mulit-crore loan recovery cases by several banks, the extradition process was cleared by British Home Ministry. Home Secretary Sajid Javid has formally signed the extradition order for Mallya.
Now, Mallya has two weeks to appeal the government order, which came after the Westminster magistrates court on December 10 allowed his extradition to India to face legal proceedings in the cases.
“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 said he intends to appeal the decision. “After decision was handed down on Dec 10,2018 by Westminster Magistrates Court, I stated my intention to appeal. I couldn’t initiate appeal process before a decision by Home Secretary. Now I’ll initiate the appeal process,” he added.
However, India responded cautiously as the legal process is likely to take seven to eight months procedure, as Mallya may also try to approach Supreme Court, if he fails in High Court. “While we welcome the UK government’s decision in the matter, we await the early completion of the legal process for his extradition,” an Indian official said.
Mallya, 63 — a former Rajya Sabha member — is fighting multiple lawsuits after defaulting on bank loans worth about Rs 9,000 crore that he had taken for the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, which he founded in 2005. Disputes over the loans led to civil lawsuits in India and the UK as well as criminal fraud charges.
On January 5, Vijay Mallya became the first Indian businessman to be declared a fugitive economic offender by a special court in Mumbai.