(Vijay Mallya,picture courtesy of indian express)
Fugitive liquor lord Vijay Mallya Thursday lost his application to appeal against extradition proceedings in the England Supreme Court, setting off the 28-day “mandatory period” for the 64-year-old businessman to be extradited to India on charges of fraud and money laundering related to unrecovered loans to his now non existent Kingfisher Airlines.
On April 20, the London High Court had dismissed Mallya’s appeal against a Westminster Judges Court extradition order certified by the England Home Secretary. The embattled businessman had been given 14 days to seek permission to move the Supreme Court, which he did on May 4, and his application was rejected Thursday.
The latest decision, referred to as a “pronouncement”, means that under the India-UK Extradition Treaty, the UK Home Office is now expected to formally certify the court order for Mallya to be extradited to India within 28 days. The latest ruling will now go back for re-certification and the process of extradition should be triggered within 28 days.
His case will go to Priti Patel, the UK secretary of state, Home Department for a final decision on extradition. If Patel gives her consent, Mallya can be extradited to India. Vijay Mallya and his now non existent firm, Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, have come under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for loan defaults of over Rs 10,000 crore to a consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI).
While Mallya is facing charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy, money laundering and diversion of loan funds, a few of his companies including Kingfisher Airlines are facing charges of violations of the Companies Act 2013 and Sebi norms. Mallya, has denied any wrongdoing.