Embattled businessman Vijay Mallya on Monday (December 10) is scheduled to appear at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where a final judgement on his extradition plea is expected. A team of officials, led by CBI Joint Director S Sai Manohar, is already in London for the final leg of the case.
The 62-year-old liquor baron is wanted in India for defaulting Indian banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore besides allegations of money laundering and diversion of funds.
As pressure from banks mounted, Vijay Mallya fled the country for London on March 2, 2016. He allegedly succeeded in feeling India after dilution of a CBI lookout notice against him. Mallya’s extradition would be a major boost to the Modi government as it faces general elections next year.
Ahead of the crucial session at the London court, here are a few interesting facts to know:
Vijay Mallya’s side of the story
Mallya, who has been on bail since his arrest in April 2018, says he repeatedly offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount that he owes to a consortium of 17 banks. On charges of fraud, Vijay Mallya maintains that it was his Kingfisher Airlines that failed to repay debts due to a genuine business failure.
He allegedly proposed to repay banks in front of the Karnataka High Court two years ago. Earlier, Mallya had also alleged the case to be politically motivated and he was being made the poster boy of loan defaults for no reason.
Respectfully to all commentators, I cannot understand how my extradition decision or the recent extradition from Dubai [Christian Michel, AgustaWestland middleman] and my settlement offer are linked in any way. Wherever I am physically, my appeal is — Please take the money. I want to stop the narrative that I stole money, he said.
Extradition case details
Vijay Mallya’s extradition case in the UK Court started on December 4, 2017 and a number of hearings were held in the matter. The Crown Prosecution Team (CPS), led by Mark Summers earlier sought details to prove dishonesty on Mallya’s part, adding that his extradition cannot be ruled out on grounds of human rights.
On the other hand, Mallya’s legal counsel, led by Clare Montgomery argued that loan defaults under Mallya’s name were due to losses at the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines, not due to any dishonest or fraudulent activity.
Mallya had also confirmed that a consortium of Indian banks, led by State Bank of India, had initially rejected the embattled businessman’s offer to pay back nearly 80 per cent of the principal amount in 2016.
14-day window to appeal
If the decision goes against Mallya, he will have a 14-day window to appeal against the judgement at a higher court. Mallya’s counsel had earlier cited poor condition of Indian prisons as a reason to prevent his extradition. Upon extradition, Mallya will be kept in barrack 12 of Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail, a video footage of which was submitted to the London court for inspection.
If the judge finds Mallya guilty, he or she will forward the case to the secretary of state for deciding whether to order extradition. However, Mallya will be able to appeal against it after taking permission from UK’s High Court within 14-days from the ruling.
Similarly, the Indian government will also have a 14-day window to appeal if the judgement is not in favour of Mallya’s extradition. A permission to appeal against it has to be taken from UK High Court.
If Mallya does not file an appeal against his extradition and the secretary of state agrees to extradite him, it has to be done within 28 days from the order.
While the Indian government would be hoping for a favourable judgement ahead of general elections next year, there are high chances that Mallya would file an appeal against it.
News credit : indiatoday