A Westminster Magistrates’ Court orders extradition of fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya, wanted on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated 9,000 crore rupees; British Home Secretary will need to sign final extradition order; Mallya given 14 days to appeal; Government of India and CBI welcome the order.
In a major setback to Vijay Mallya, a UK court on Monday said that Mallya can be extradited to India, where he is wanted for alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crores. Westminster Magistrates’ Court Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled that Mallya can be extradited to India to stand trial on the charges brought by the CBI and ED.
Judge dismissed the plea by the defense and concluded that there is a prima facie case for extradition in relation to three possible charges. She said that if the conduct had occured in UK, it would constitute offenses of making false representation to make a gain for himself , conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.
The judge has referred the extradition case to the UK Secretary of State. The ruling marked a significant point in the high-profile extradition trial that has lasted over a year.
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss has been on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year. The trial, which opened at the Magistrates’ Court on December 4 last year, went through a series of hearings beyond the initial seven days earmarked for it. It opened with the Crown Prosecution Service team laying out the Indian government’s prima facie case of fraud and money laundering against Mallya. CPS sought to establish a “blueprint of dishonesty” against the businessman and that there are no bars to his extradition on human rights grounds.
As per the laws in UK if the judge is satisfied that all of the procedural requirements are met, and that none of the statutory bars to extradition apply, he or she must send the case to the Secretary of State for a decision to be taken on whether to order extradition.
However, the judge’s decision on whether to send Mallya’s case to UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid can be appealed with the UK High Court’s permission, with the person to be extradited entitled to make an application for permission to appeal to the High Court within 14 days of the date of the Chief Magistrate’s ruling. On the other hand, the Indian government also has 14 days to file leave to appeal to the High Court, seeking permission to appeal against a decision not to extradite.
Hailing the UK court order on Vijay Mallya’s extradition, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the offender who benefited during the UPA rule is being brought to the book by the NDA government.
Jaitley Tweeted to welcome the judgement and drive home the point that No one who cheats India will go scot free. The Judgement of UK’s Court is welcome.
CBI has also welcomed the London court’s order for extradition of Vijay Mallya to India.
Spokesperson for the agency said “We welcome the decision. We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. The CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on law and facts and we were confident while perusing the extradition process,”
Union Minister for I & B also tweeted to welcome the decision. he said that the UK court order of Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India is a major victory in govt’s war on UPA’s scams. The govt’s relentless persistence, under PM narendra modi’s leadership and focus, has resulted in this win for India.
In case Mallya does not file an appeal, and Secretary of State agrees with the magistrate’s decision, then he will extradited from the UK within 28 days of the Home Secretary’s extradition order.