India Abroad

The London Court Rules Indian Tycoon Vijay Mallya's Extradition From UK To India

ASHISH MEENA | 0
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| December 10 , 2018 , 20:12 IST

The London Magistrates Court on Monday ruled industrialist Vijay Mallya extradition from the UK to India to stand trial on charges of committing huge bank frauds.

The court also said that there was no evidence that the prosecution was politically motivated. It is learnt that Mallya had fled to London in March 2016. Former Kingfisher Airlines boss Mallya now has 14 days to appeal against the decision.   

According to media reports the Westminster Magistrates Court's Emma Arbuthnot said, "The criticism made of the possible effect of the considerable media attention which would attend a prosecution of Mallya is not significant enough for this court to find he would not have" a fair trial."

"There is insufficient evidence for this court to find that he will not be tried by a competent and fair court," the court said.

The judge also noted that any suggestion that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) courts in India were too "pliable" when it came to CBI cases "is not borne out by reliable evidence".

Arbuthnot, a Senior District Judge, said she accepted the Indian government's contention that because Mallya had such a high profile, his trial would be under great scrutiny.

"I find that Mallya will be able to raise with the court any overly prejudicial publicity... It will not be a trial by politicians. Courts are used to dealing with high profile cases which are accompanied by often ill-advised political commentary.

"I do not accept that the courts in India are there to do what the politicians tell them to do. As I have already said, the court will be under great scrutiny. I do not find any international consensus which would enable me to find that the judges in India are corrupt."

Referring to the defence argument that there was an abuse of legal process, the London judge said, "There is no evidence that the prosecution is politically motivated... I find no grounds for finding an abuse of process."

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The judge said she was sending Mallya's case to the Home Secretary of State for a decision to be taken on whether to order his extradition.

The court ruling came six days after British national and middleman in the Rs 3,600 core AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Christian Michael, was extradited to India after his arrest in Dubai.

Earlier, before appearing in the court, speaking to media Vijay Mallya said, "Whatever the judgement, my legal team will review the judgement if required and take appropriate steps thereafter."

He said he offered to repay the public sector banks and employees what he owed. "But that has nothing to do with this extradition decision, this is a completely separate matter."

Proceedings are on in the Mumbai Special Court against Mallya under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.