The Vijay Mallya extradition case got a major boost as the United Kingdom Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed the extradition order. The Home Office said that Sajid Javid signed the order on Monday to extradite Mallya to India after carefully considering all the relevant details. One of the legal options that the liquor baron can use is to appeal to a higher court within a window of 14 days. If he chooses that option, India will be unable to get him back home at least for the next 6 to 8 months as the entire procedure may take that long as per multiple sources.
Mallya to appeal:
The extradition order comes after a London court ordered Mallya to be extradited to India on charges of fraud. Mallya had moved to Britain in Mar 2016 following charges of financial irregularities at Kingfisher Airlines. In response to the order, Mallya tweeted on Monday ‘After the decision was handed down on December 10, 2018, by the Westminister Magistrates Court, I stated my intention to appeal. I could not initiate the process before a decision by the Home Secretary. Now I will initiate the appeal process.’
Charges against the King of Good Times:
Vijay Mallya was famously known for his Kingfisher Beer in India and later moved onto other investments like owning a cricket team in Indian Premier League, Formula 1 racing and also built the now inoperative Kingfisher Airlines in 2005. He was nicknamed the King of Good Times for his lavish lifestyle and was a high-profile figure till he was charged with major financial irregularities in his airlines. The financial crimes he committed was investigated by India’s premier investigation Bureau the CBI and was found guilty of money laundering, fraud and Foreign Exchange Management Act violations, FEMA. He tried to raise some money for Kingfisher Airlines by selling his majority stakes in UB group to Diageo which is a big UK drinks company. However, despite all that, the airlines were grounded and lost its permit to fly in 2012 after it made losses five years in a row. The airlines had unpaid salaries and loans in the tune of more than $1 billion, and finally, the lenders decided not to give fresh loans leading to shutting down of airline operations. Mr. Mallya has defaulted on loans of up to 9,000 crores.
The Indian Court has declared him ‘ a fugitive economic offender,’ and the Government of India had seized all his assets and now are a step closer to the process of getting Mallya back to India and punish him for the financial crimes.