UK court rejects Vijay Mallya’s plea against extradition order

In a major setback for fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, the UK court today rejected his plea, seeking a stay on his extradition order. A judge in the appeals court of the high court has rejected his application for permission to appeal against home secretary Sajid Javid’s February 4 order to extradite him to India.

He had applied to the court on February 14 and the Home Office submitted its response within the stipulated 20 days. Legal experts say the case is usually allowed to go for a full appeals hearing if new grounds or evidence not previously considered in lower courts are cited.

The refusal suggests that the judge may not have seen merit in Mallya’s application. Further options before Mallya include approaching the Supreme Court, which usually grants permission to appeal if a case involves a matter of public interest; and submitting a ‘representation’ to the home secretary.

The recourse to ‘representation’ to prevent extradition on human rights and grounds possibly on new facts has been previously used by Tiger Hanif, who is wanted in India in connection with blasts in Surat in 1993.

Tiger Hanif lost all legal challenges in 2013, but has since made representations to prevent extradition to the home secretary, who has not yet taken a decision.

Facing charges in India of financial irregularities amounting to over Rs 9,000 crore, Mallya has been putting forth his version of events through social media in recent weeks, most recently on March 31 following an interview to a television channel by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a series of tweets, Mallya used the reported financial problems of Jet Airways to plug his case, demanding that his assets placed before the Karnataka high court be used to pay off banks and other creditors, adding: “It will help them to save Jet Airways if nothing else”.

Noting that banks were reportedly bailing out Jet Airways, Mallya said: “I invested 4000 crores into Kingfisher Airlines to save the Company and its employees. Not recognised and instead slammed in every possible way.” “The same PSU Banks let India’s finest airline with the best employees and connectivity fail ruthlessly. Double standards under NDA”, he added.

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