The Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London in the United Kingdom will rule on Monday if businessman Vijay Mallya can be extradited to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering, PTI reported. He is accused of cheating banks of Rs 9,000 crore and is also facing allegations of money laundering and diversion of loans.
Mallya fled India and moved to London in March 2016. The Ministry of External Affairs submitted an extradition request to the UK in February 2017 after the businessman made his self-imposed exile clear. The request was made on the basis of an extradition treaty signed between the countries in 1992.
Mallya has contested his extradition on the grounds that the case against him is “politically motivated” and the loans he defaulted on were taken to keep the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines afloat.
“I did not borrow a single rupee,” Mallya had tweeted last week. “The borrower was Kingfisher Airlines. Money was lost due to a genuine and sad business failure. Being held as guarantor is not fraud.”
The businessman also offered to pay 100% of the principal amount he owes to a consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India.
Unidentified officials said that a joint team of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate led by CBI Joint Director A Sai Manohar left for London on Sunday. Manohar has replaced Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who was attending the trial till now. Asthana was sent on leave last month after his feud with Director Alok Verma became public.