UK High Court rejects Mallya’s plea against extradition

London/New Delhi: In a fresh win for India, the United Kingdom High Court has rejected fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya’s written submission for permission to appeal against his extradition order passed by a Westminster magistrate’s court.

The submission was rejected by Justice William Davis on April 5. Mallya has five days for an oral submission, said sources in New Delhi.

Mallya, wanted by India in the Rs 9,000 crore Kingfisher Airlines loan default case and charges of fraud, money laundering and violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) brought by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, had moved the High Court after the Westminster Magistrates Court, on December 10, 2018, gave the go-ahead for his extradition.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court Chief Magistrate, Judge Emma Arbuthnot had then sent Mallya’s case to Home Secretary Sajid Javed, who had also cleared the extradition in February.

Mallya, 63, left India on March 2, 2016 after defaulting on loans amounting to Rs 9,000 crore he had taken for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines but he has repeatedly denied fleeing the country, saying he is ready to pay back the money he owed to the Indian banks.

India had in late 2017 filed extradition proceedings against Mallya which he contested. He is currently out on bail in London.

A consortium of 13 banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), has been preparing to initiate loan recovery proceedings against him.

The proceedings are on before a special court in Mumbai under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

The Enforcement Directorate had also moved the Special Prevention of Money-Laundering Act Court last year to declare Mallya a “fugitive economic offender” and confiscate all his properties, estimated at more than Rs 12,000 crore, making it the first such case of its kind under the new law.