The Supreme Court was informed by the Centre that a “secret” extradition process was in the works to bring runaway businessman and former millionaire Vijay Mallya to India. On Monday, i.e. October 5h, 2020, the Centre also informed the SC that they were unaware of the status of these proceedings and informed the Apex Court that Centre was not a party to these proceedings.
A Bench comprising of Hon’ble Justices U Lalit and Ashok Bhushan questioned Mallya’s counsel about the “secret” proceedings that would extradite the former business tycoon. However, the counsel for Mallya, Advocate Ankur Saigal, feigned ignorance and said, “I have knowledge that my request against extradition has been rejected” The Bench further questioned Advocate Saigal about Mallya’s whereabouts and asked him to brief the court on the status of the “secret” proceedings and when Mr. Mallya would appear before the court.
The counsel for the Centre, Advocate Rajat Nair, also informed the court that request for extradition was made on the directions and approval of the Court. He further elaborated, “Some secret extradition proceedings are going on to which we are not a party. Extradition proceedings have been upheld by the highest court of UK but it has not been happening as of now”. Earlier, the Top Court while dismissing Mallya’s plea that sought review of the 2017 verdict that held him guilty ordered him to appear before the court on October 5th, 2020. Currently, the former Kingfisher Airlines owner is an accused in a bank loan default case of over INR 9,000 Crore and is situated in the United Kingdom. In June, the SC inquired about the whereabouts of Mallya and requested its registry to provide an explanation as to the lack of listing of Mallya’s review before the court for the last three years. The 2017 order came as a result of a consortium of banks that were led by the State Bank of India. The plea stated that Mallya allegedly transferred USD 40 million that was received from Diageo, a British firm. He transferred these funds to his children, which was a “flagrant violation of various judicial orders” He was also accused of allegedly concealing facts and sending money to his daughters Leanna Mallya and Tanya Mallya and his son Siddharth Mallya. This was in violation of the orders that were passed by the Karnataka High Court. In May, Mallya lost an application that sought leave to appeal for his extradition to India in the UK Supreme Court. “The UK top court's decision marks a big legal setback to the 64-year-old flamboyant businessman, who had earlier lost his high court appeal against an extradition order to India on charges of alleged fraud and money laundering related to unrecovered loans to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.” Mallya has been living in the UK since 2016. He is currently on bail on an extradition warrant that was executed three years ago by Scotland Yard in 2017.