London court orders extradition of Mallya

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot on Monday ordered businessman Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India, and referred the case to British Home Secretary Sajid Javid for signing the extradition order. Mr. Mallya will now have 14 days to lodge an appeal. In ruling against Mr. Mallya, the judge at Westminster Magistrates Court pointed to factors such as numerous misrepresentations made by Kingfisher Airlines and the businessman during the course of obtaining loans from a consortium of banks, including IDBI. Mr. Mallya expressed his disappointment, said his legal team would review the options and decide on the route ahead. He reiterated his settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court, insisting that he had made clear that should it be accepted, he wanted former Kingfisher Airlines employees to be paid first. In a summary statement after announcing her judgment, Ms. Arbuthnot described Mr. Mallya as a “glamorous, flashy, famous, bejewelled, bodyguarded, ostensibly billionaire playboy” who may have “cha- rmed and cajoled” bankers into “losing their common sense and persuading them to put their own rules and regulations to one side.” ‘Not a false case’ She rejected the defence suggestion that a “false case” was being mounted against him to “assuage CBI’s political masters” or that it was a politically motivated case. “I find that because both Congress and the BJP are blaming him and others for the banks’ losses that does not mean that he is being prosecuted for his political opinions, even in the wide sense of the word.” Once extradition is ordered by the Home Secretary, the Crown Prosecution Service’s barrister Mark Summers — acting for India — said they would be seeking to recover at least £260,000 in legal costs. Under the treaty, Mr. Javid has two months to order the extradition, after which any appeal process would kick off. Mr. Mallya has the right to appeal to the High Court and should that go against him he could apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

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