Businessman Vijay Mallya has been permitted to appeal against his extradition order signed off by home secretary, after an oral hearing in the appeals court of the England and Wales high court. The ruling comes as a huge relief to the embattled business tycoon as it was one of the last legal avenues open to him to avoid extradition.
Mallya, who founded the now-defunct Kingfisher airlines, fled to Britain in March 2016 after facing accusations of financial irregularities amounting to over Rs 9,000 crore. Mallya has consistently claimed that the charges he faces are baseless and fabricated and the Centre refused to take him up on his offer to clear his loans. As he walked into the Royal Courts of Justice earlier in the day, the 63-year-old businessman said he was feeling “positive”.
In its order, the bench said that the arguments can be reasonably made on some of Westminster Magistrates’ Court Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot’s conclusions in her prima facie case ruling. The High Court judges ruled that the 63-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss was permitted to appeal on only one limited ground to be able to address the admissibility of some of evidence and interpretations made by the lower court.
Mallya’s written application was rejected by Justice William Davis on April 5, prompting him to seek an oral hearing for permission to appeal against home secretary Sajid Javid’s February 4 order extraditing him to India to face allegations of major financial irregularities.
Mallya faces charges of financial irregularities amounting to over Rs 9,000 crore. He has been putting forth his version of events through social media, repeatedly offering to repay all his loans and wondering why the banks are not taking up his offer.