Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya should be extradited from Britain to India to face fraud charges resulting from the collapse of his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, a London court ruled on Monday.
India wants to bring criminal action against Mallya, 62, whose business interests have ranged from aviation to liquor, over $1.4 billion in loans Kingfisher took out from Indian banks which the authorities argue he had no intention of repaying.
Mallya, who co-owned the Formula One motor racing team Force India until it went into administration in July, has denied all wrongdoing and argued the case against him was politically motivated.
It is important to note Only one person had ever been extradited from the UK to India under the extradition treaty between the two countries signed in 1993. Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, wanted in a case related to the 2002 Gujarat riots, was extradited in October 2016.
Modi has faced pressure from political opponents to bring to justice several people inclusive Nirav Modi, Lalith Modi , Choksi, malaya who have fled India in recent years to escape prosecution in an array of cases, many of them loan defaults.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot, England’s chief magistrate, decided there was a prima facie case against Mallya, who moved to Britain in March 2016, and his human rights would not be infringed if he was extradited.
It is important to note Judge Emma Arbuthnot, England’s chief magistrate ruling will now be passed to the interior minister who must also approve it.
However legal experts said Monday’s ruling is unlikely to be the end of the long-running case.
The options before Mallya is he can appeal Arbuthnot’s decision within 14 days to London’s High Court.
The interior minister’s decision even if confirms with Judge Emma Arbuthnot, then that decision can also be appealed to the High Court and ultimately the Supreme Court.
It argued Mallya, who moved to Britain in March 2016, had no intention of repaying money it borrowed from IDBI in 2009 and the loans had been taken out under false pretences, on the basis of misleading securities and with the money spent differently to how the bank had been told.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told Mallya had been “squirrelling money away to keep it from the bank”
However, his defence team said the Indian government had failed to provide any substantial evidence to justify extraditing him.