The London’s Westminster Magistrates Court has ordered the extradition of fugitive Kingfisher liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India. Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot delivered the verdict on Vijay Mallya’s extradition after a year-long trial.
The Chief Magistrate found prima facie a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Now the matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya has been referred to the Secretary of State in United Kingdom. Mallya now has 14 days before he appeals before the higher court in the UK.
After the verdict, Mallya said: “My legal team will review the judgement in detail and consider various options and then I will decide going forward. There is nothing to be shocked about.”
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The UK Home Office said it has received the Westminster Magistrates’ Court verdict for Mallya’s extradition to India.
“If after considering the case, the Home Secretary thinks extradition should go ahead he has to order the extradition within two months of the date the matter was referred to him,” said a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which argued on behalf of the Indian government.
On asking if he regrets going to the UK, Mallya said: “At the end of the day that’s what the courts are for, that’s how lawyers thrive. Do I regret being in a situation where I’m reading legal papers and paying legal fees? Yes, I do. I could have done something more productive with my time.”
On being asked if his settlement offer of 100 per cent principal amount was genuine, Vijay Mallya said: “There is nothing genuine or ingenuine. Please understand that the offer has been made in a court of law. Nobody disrespects a court of law.”
“He will have access to personal medical care to manage his diabetes and coronary problems… There was no ground at all to believe that he faces any risk at all (in jail),” the judge ruled. Delivering the verdict, she said that there was “no sign of a false case being mounted against him”.
“Having considered evidence as a whole. There is a case to answer,” Judge Arbuthnot said as she ruled that Mallya could be extradited to India to stand trial on the charges brought by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.
“Dr Mallya will be carefully considering the court’s judgment and, therefore, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this time,” said Anand Doobay, Partner at UK-based Boutique Law LLP, who has been Mallya’s solicitor through the extradition process.