A joint team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) headed by CBI Joint Director A Sai Manohar has left for London on Sunday to attend an important hearing in the extradition case of fugitive willful defaulter Vijay Mallya. The infamous liquor baron Vijay Mallya is scheduled to return to Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Monday where his extradition trial case is listed for a judgment hand-down. The court is expected to pronounce its judgment on Monday.
Vijay Mallya is undergoing an extradition trial in a UK court over fraud and money laundering charges by Indian authorities. Extradition is the act by one nation’s jurisdiction of delivering a person who has been accused of committing a crime in another nation’s jurisdiction or has been convicted of a crime in that other jurisdiction, to the custody of a law enforcement agency of the nation where he committed the crime. Earlier, Judge Andrew Henshaw had upheld the Indian court’s decision to freeze all of his assets and said that 13 Indian banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) are entitled to recover funds from the Kingfisher owner, amounting to nearly 9000 crores INR. The extradition trial had commenced at the London court on December 4 last year. Mallya left for the United Kingdom in March 2016 taking advantage of the dilution in the CBI lookout notice against him. On a warrant issued by Indian authorities, Vijay Mallya was arrested in London on 18 April.
The Apex Court of India also gave a setback to Vijay Mallya. The Supreme Court declined a stay on the proceedings drawn against him by the ED.
After successfully securing extradition of AgustaWestland scam middleman Christian Michel, Indian authorities are leaving no stone unturned to extradite Vijay Mallya as well. Recently, in a series of tweets, Vijay Mallya made a request to the banks with regard to the settlement of his dues. He also contested his extradition and claimed that the case against him is “politically motivated”. He also said, “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.”
The swift extradition of Michel seems to have perturbed Mallya and it is very likely that he has seen this as some sort of premonition to his fate. In order to avoid fate and humiliation like Christian Michel, Vijay Mallya has again made a passionate appeal to banks to accept the offer of him paying 100% of the principal loan amount. In June also, he made similar claims by releasing a letter to PM Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
On his visit to the United Kingdom, PM Modi negotiated the extradition proceedings of Vijay Mallya with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Mallya is a British Citizen so bringing him to India is tricky and requires immense political resolve. The latest rant of Vijay Mallya on Twitter shows that he is very disturbed by Christian Michel’s extradition, and considering it as a premonition to his own fate. There should be no more snags in the path to Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India but if the PM Modi led government can pull it off, prior to the Lok Sabha 2019 elections it would be a big boost for them. The Congress government would be exposed as to how it had let Mallya’s company Kingfisher operate freely for all those years and PM Modi led BJP would get a public appraisal as well.
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