UK court rules extradition of Vijay Mallya, but allows the fugitive to appeal in 14 days
Vijay Mallya is wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore
New Delhi: A UK court after a year long trial on Monday ruled that fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya will be extradited to India. The beleaguered businessman now has 14 days to appeal against the verdict. Vijay Mallya is wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore.
The court order came two days after Mallya offered to repay the loans, but without interest. Mallya reiterated his offer ahead of the hearing but stressed that it was not linked to his extradition.
Mallya has contested his extradition on the grounds that the case against him is “politically motivated” and the loans he has been accused of defrauding on were sought to keep his now-defunct airline afloat.
“I did not borrow a single rupee. The borrower was Kingfisher Airlines. Money was lost due to a genuine and sad business failure. Being held as guarantor is not fraud,” he recently wrote on Twitter. “I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount to them. Please take it,” he added.
Hailing the UK court order, Arun Jaitley said the fugitive “benefited under the UPA rule” but the NDA government brought him to book.
“Great Day for India. No one who cheats India will go scot free. The judgement of UK’s Court is welcomed. An offender benefited during the UPA. The NDA brings him to book,” Jaitley wrote on Twitter.
Interestingly, Arun Jaitley was Union Finance Minister in 2016 when Vijay Mallya fled from India. And, Mallya himself had claimed that he had met the finance minister before leaving the country.
“I met the Finance Minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks”, Vijay Mallya had earlier said outside the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The CBI meanwhile welcome the extradition order on Vijay Mallya saying, “We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing the extradition process.”
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