Vijay Mallya, business tycoon, on Monday(20th April 2020)was fighting a case of the expedition in London. The case was related to the fraud and money laundering amounting to an estimated Rs. 9,000 crore due to the collapse of his defunct company Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya lost his High Court appeal in London against a 2018 decision to extradite him to India. The dismissal effectively clears the way for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India to face the charges in the Indian courts, with 14 days for him to apply for permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court.
The case will now go to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for a final call.
There are two facets for the appeal if he applies then the UK Home Office would wait for the outcome of that appeal. But in case he chose not to appeal under the India-UK Extradition Treaty, then the Court would be obliged to extradite Mallya to India within 28 days.
The business tycoon has businesses ranging from aviation to liquor. The 64-year old is wanted in India over Rs. 9,000 crore in loans Kingfisher took out from banks which the authorities argue he had no intention of repaying. Vijay Mallya denies the charges against him and is currently on bail.
Mallya's lawyer, Clare Montgomery, in February during a hearing said that the 2018 extradition ruling by Judge Emma A. Arbuthnot had "multiple errors" because she did not take into account all the evidence about the financial status of Kingfisher Airlines.
The Royal Courts of Justice in London, headed by 2 judge Bench of Lord Justice Stephen Irwin and Justice Elisabeth Laing. The judges presiding over the appeal dismissed the appeal. The judgement was handed down remotely due to the current coronavirus lockdown. The Judges ruled, "We have held there is a prima facie case both of misrepresentation and of conspiracy, and thus there is also a prima facie case of money laundering," the High Court concluded."
Vijay Mallya can appeal against the High Court order in the Supreme Court within 14 days, failing which India will start the extradition process, provided by the Indian agencies investigating the case. An official said, "UK Extradition Act permits appeal before the Supreme Court only if there is a "significant point of law" to be settled... that too within a period of 14 days. Even if he chooses for an appeal, it's unlikely to be permitted as there is no significant point of law to be settled in this case. Mallya's extradition is confirmed and sealed."
A number of times the business tycoon has affirmed the Indian banks to take back 100 per cent of the principal amount owed to them.
In February, King Fisher's Owner said, "I am saying, please banks take your money. The ED is saying no, we have a claim over these assets. So, the ED on the one side and the banks on the other are fighting over the same assets... What all they are doing to me for the last four years is totally unreasonable."
Mallya’s return would be a good stroke in the court of Narendra Modi as he is under huge pressure from the opposition to bring justice for several people who have fled India in recent years to escape prosecution, many for loan defaults.