Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who was ordered to be extradited to India by a UK court Monday, said he “regrets being in this situation.”
A UK court today ordered Mallya’s extradition after a year-long trial. Mallya is wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore. Both sides now have 14 days to file an appeal.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley welcomed the order, saying the fugitive “benefited under the UPA rule” but the NDA government brought him to book. The CBI has also welcomed the decision of Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot. UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid will now pass an order based on the verdict.
Mallya, who owned the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, has denied all wrongdoing and argued the case against him was politically motivated. Mallya became a Rajya Sabha member in the early 2000s with the support of Congress. He then joined the BJP and was finally re-elected to the upper house with the help of the BJP and the JD(S).
The 62-year-old has contested his extradition on the grounds that the loans he has been accused of defaulting on were sought to keep his airline afloat. “I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount to them. Please take it,” he had tweeted last week.
United Kingdom's Westminster Magistrates' Court ordered Vijay Mallya's extradition to India today. Follow Highlights. Read in Malayalam, Bangla, Tamil
Vijay Mallya's extradition to India will take months: Lawyer
Even though Mallya has been ordered to be extradited by a UK court Monday, his extradition to India will take months. Mallya remains on the same bail conditions on which he was arrested in April 2017, which involves a bail bond worth 650,000 pounds.
"Mallya is not likely to be extradited to India for months. Following the extradition judgment today, Mallya now has 14 days to appeal, during which period he wouldn't be arrested, but would remain on bail," Sarosh Zaiwalla, Founder & Senior Partner at UK-based law firm Zaiwalla & Co, said.
If the High Court order also goes against Mallya, he could apply for the right to appeal to the Supreme Court, which would involve at least another six weeks and if he won the right to do so that could take up to a year. "The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) could apply for an expedited appeal process but it is not common for this to be granted. You would have to show the need of urgency," added Zaiwalla.
While it is not uncommon for a court of appeal to overturn the verdict of a lower court, Monday's verdict marks the completion of the first phase in what is expected to be a long-drawn extradition process, PTI reported.
It's a result of Modi, Jaitley's efforts: Chhattisgarh CM on Vijay Mallya's extradition order
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh called the UK court order on the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India "a great success".
"It is a lesson for those who misuse the nation's properties. This is a result of the strong determined steps taken by the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister," ANI quoted him as saying.
Regret being in this situation: Vijay Mallya on extradition order
Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who was ordered to be extradited by a UK court Monday, said he regrets being in a situation "where I am reading legal papers and paying legal fees."
When asked if he regrets going to the UK, Mallya said "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," ANI reported.
PM Modi deserves congratulations, says Subramanian Swamy
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy attributed the success of Vijay Mallya's extradition to PM Modi. He also assured that by the end of January, it is expected that Mallya will be back in India.
Subramanian Swamy on UK court orders extradition of #VijayMallya to India: Prime Minister deserves congratulations for seeing that none of our investigating agencies is blocked in doing their duties, unlike in the past. By the end of January, you can expect Mallya back in India pic.twitter.com/WuP39tbjG7— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2018
Vijay Mallya extradition order: 'Ostensibly billionaire playboy' charmed banks into giving him loans
Judge Emma Arbuthnot said Monday she would send Vijay Mallya's extradition case to Britain's Home Secretary for review and action. She said there were substantial misrepresentations in Mallya's characterizations of his financial dealings that gave weight to the Indian government's extradition request, AP reported.
The judge said banks may have been fooled into making bad loans by ``this glamorous, flashy, famous, bejeweled, bodyguarded, ostensibly billionaire playboy who charmed and cajoled these bankers into losing their common sense.'' She said his companies were in ``desperate'' financial situations that were concealed from the banks.
Great day for India: Jaitley on Vijay Mallya's extradition order
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley lauded a UK court's decision ordering the extradition of embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India, saying 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," he tweeted.
Great Day for India. No one who cheats India will go scot free.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) December 10, 2018
The Judgement of UK’s Court is welcome. An offender benefited during the UPA. The NDA brings him to book.
Vijay Mallya extradition: UK court says case on fraud, conspiracy, money laundering
Ordering his extradition to India, Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot said there is, prima facie, a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
Hope to bring him soon: CBI on Vijay Mallya's extradition
CBI welcomed the extradition order on Vijay Mallya:
"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," a CBI spokesperson said.
Mallya's extradition: CBI welcomes UK court's order
The CBI has welcomed the order of the UK court on the extradition of embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India.
The trial, which opened at the Magistrates' Court on December 4 last year, has gone through a series of hearings beyond the initial seven days earmarked for it.
UK court orders extradition of Vijay Mallya
In a big win for India, a UK court Monday ordered the extradition of fugitive liquor baron businessman Vijay Mallya. He has 14 days to appeal in a higher court.
Want to disprove the narrative that I stole money: Vijay Mallya ahead of extradition hearing at UK court
Outside the Westminster Magistrates' Court which is expected to deliver its verdict on his extradition, Mallya said he wants to "disprove the narrative that I have stolen money," adding that his settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court is not bogus.
"My settlement offer is made before the Karnataka High Court. It is not related to this extradition trial. Nobody disrespects a court of law by making a bogus offer. The assets have been attached by the ED so they cannot be bogus assets," he said.
Vijay Mallya outside court: Offer to repay not bogus
Ahead of hearing in a UK court on the extradition of former Kingfisher Airlines’ chief Vijay Mallya, the businessman today said his offer to repay the principal amount he owes to a consortium of banks and the Indian government is a separate matter and not linked to the extradition hearing.
"Whatever the judgement, my legal team will reveal the judgement and take proper steps thereafter, he said outside the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, adding that his offer to repay is not bogus.
'Please take the money': Mallya's twitter appeal to banks
Beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya had offered to pay 100 percent of the principal amount he owes to a consortium of banks and the Indian government. On December 6, a day after alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland Chopper deal, Christian Michel, was extradited to India, Mallya tweeted "Respectfully to all commentators, I cannot understand how my extradition decision or the recent extradition from Dubai and my settlement offer are linked in any way. Wherever I am physically,my appeal is “Please take the money”. I want to stop the narrative that I stole money."
He had also said it wasn't him who borrowed the money from banks, but Kingfisher Airlines. "Money was lost due to a genuine and sad business failure. Being held as guarantor is not fraud," he said.
Ahead of extradition verdict, Arthur Road Jail keeps high security cell ready for Mallya
Authorities at Arthur Road Jail have kept a high-security cell ready for Mallya if the court extradites him today. If extradited, Mallya will be lodged in one of the high-security barracks located in a two-storey building inside the prison complex, which also housed 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorist Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, a prison official said. "We are fully prepared to lodge him safely at our correction centre. If he is brought here, we will take care of his safety and security," the official said.
In case of a medical emergency, Mallya can be treated at the dispensary located close to the barrack, where doctors and other staff are present to provide basic treatment to prisoners, he said. The high security barracks are located separately from other cells. These barracks are under constant CCTV surveillance and security guards with sophisticated arms are deployed there, he added.
An official from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs earlier said Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail was one of the best in the country.
Mallya claims he met Arun Jaitley before leaving and offered to settle
On September 12, during the hearing of his case, Mallya triggered a political firestorm after he told reporters that he left India after meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2016, which the minister called “factually false”.
“I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. I met the Finance Minister before I left… repeated my offer to settle with the banks. That is the truth,” Mallya had said. The liquor baron also pointed out that for three decades by running India’s largest alcoholic beverage group, he contributed thousands of crores to the state exchequers.
Mallya, however, sought to downplay his comments later, saying it was “not fair” to create a controversy over a “totally innocent statement” and that he had only “happened to meet” the Finance Minister.
Responding to the claim, Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post: “Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise. However, since he was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking out of the House to go to my room. He paced up to catch up with me and while walking, uttered a sentence that ‘I am making an offer of settlement’.”
Jaitley wrote that since he was aware of Mallya’s past “bluff offers”, he did not allow him to proceed with the conversation and curtly told him “there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers.” Jaitley said he “did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand”.
What happens after today's extradition verdict?
If the judgment goes against Vijay Mallya, the court may allow him to appeal in a higher court. The person to be extradited is entitled to make an application for permission to appeal to the High Court within 14 days of the date of the Magistrate’s ruling.
“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,” PTI quoted Pavani Reddy, a UK-based legal expert and Managing Partner of Zaiwalla & Co, as saying.
If the verdict goes against India, the investigating agencies in the country would also have 14 days to file leave to appeal to the High Court, seeking permission to appeal against a decision not to extradite. “In case the concerned individual does not file an appeal, and Secretary of State agrees with the magistrate’s decision, then the individual must be extradited from the UK within 28 days of the Home Secretary’s extradition order,” Reddy said.
Indian jails do not have proper air and light: Vijay Mallya during hearing
Barrack 12 at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai, where the businessman is to be held if he was to be extradited to India, was also a bone of contention between the prosecution and defence. Mallya’s lawyers had opposed his extradition on the ground that a barrack within the compound walls of the jail would not get enough natural light. They also raised the issue of overcrowding in Indian jails and of security.
Based on their plea, the UK Court on July 31 had asked CBI to send a video of the barrack where Mallya would be lodged. In August, the CBI team sent a video of the barrack, showing that Mallya will not only have access to natural light with large windows but will also get to stroll in a courtyard. He will have a private toilet and even a TV, besides getting access to the jail library.
However, Mallya’s lawyers rubbished the video, saying the barrack was freshly painted to give the perception of brightness that did not exist.
Vijay Mallya's defence: Kingfisher Airlines - business plan gone wrong
The trial against Mallya opened on December 4 last year. It opened with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) team, led by Mark Summers, laying out the Indian government's prima facie case of fraud and money laundering against Mallya. Summers sought to establish a "blueprint of dishonesty" against the businessman and that there are no bars to his extradition on human rights grounds.
Mallya’s defence team led by Clare Montgomery alleged that the CBI had been “forced to file charges”, referring to a newspaper report against Rakesh Asthana, which had claimed that he influenced the heads of the state-run banks and threatened them with reprisals if action was not taken against the businessman.
While the CPS argued that Mallya never intended to repay the loans he sought in the first place because his airline's demise was inevitable, the defence tried to establish that Kingfisher Airlines was suffering from consequences of a wider global financial crisis around 2009-2010 and that its failure was a result of factors beyond the company's control.
What is Vijay Mallya extradition case?
On charges of fraud and money-laundering, several banks initiated legal proceedings against Mallya for the repayment of an outstanding amounting to more than 9,000 crores. In November 2016, he was declared an absconder by a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court. He had already been declared a proclaimed offender in June the same year.
The Ministry of External Affairs submitted an extradition request to the UK in February 2017. The request was made on the basis of an extradition treaty signed between the countries in 1992. In March 2017, UK cleared India’s request to extradite Vijay Mallya. The liquor baron was arrested in April after he dishonoured multiple summons. he has been out on bail since then
Welcome to the live blog. United Kingdom's Westminster Magistrates' Court is likely to decide if liquor baron Vijay Mallya can be extradited to India. Follow this space to track the latest developments