Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya has said he will appeal against the United Kingdom’s decision on Monday to approve his extradition to India.
Mallya, who moved to London in March 2016, is fighting a number of lawsuits in the United Kingdom and India related to fraud and money laundering allegations. Last week, the businessman claimed that his firm’s assets worth Rs 13,000 crore were seized on behalf of a consortium of banks whom he owes Rs 9,000 crore. Mallya had also questioned the accusations against him, and alleged there were irregularities in the legal process.
On December 10, 2018, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London had ordered his extradition after finding merit in the charges filed against Mallya. The businessman said he had stated his intention then to appeal.
“I could not initiate the appeal process before a decision by the Home Secretary,” he said on Twitter on Monday. Mallya now has 14 days to apply for appeals.
The UK government on Monday said Home Secretary Sajid Javid had carefully considered all matters before signing the extradition order. “Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences,” the Home Office spokesperson added.
India welcomes UK order
New Delhi has welcomed the UK government’s order and said it awaits “early completion” of the legal process in the matter. “We have taken note of the decision of the UK Home Secretary to sign on the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India,” an unidentified government official told PTI. “While we welcome the UK government’s decision in the matter, we await the early completion of the legal process for his extradition.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka unit said Mallya’s extradition is a diplomatic move and will add another feather to the party’s cap in its fight against corruption. “Chowkidar of Achhe din nabs King of Good Times,” the party said on Twitter. “Is Congress ready with their lawyers to defend fraud Mallya?”
On January 5, a special court in Mumbai declared Mallya a fugitive economic offender. He was the first person to get the tag after Parliament passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act last year to allow the seizure of domestic assets of such individuals.