In a major setback to Vijay Mallya, a UK court on Monday, December 10, ordered his extradition to India, where he is wanted for alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated ₹ 9,000 crores.
Westminster Magistrates' Court Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled that Mallya can be extradited to India to stand trial on the charges brought by the CBI and ED.
The judge referred the extradition case to Secretary of State.
The ruling marked a significant point in the high-profile extradition trial that has lasted over a year.
CBI spokesperson welcomed this ruling and was quoted by the news agency ANI as saying, “We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process.”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley too welcomed this decision by the Westminster Court saying that it was a great day for India. “No one who cheats India will go scot free,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Mallya sought to disprove the narrative that he has "stolen" money and said his offer to repay the principal amount to the Indian banks was "not bogus".
Mallya made the remarks while talking to reporters outside the Westminster Magistrates' Court. The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss was on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year.
"My settlement offer is made before the Karnataka High Court. It is not related to this extradition trial. Nobody disrespects a court of law by making a bogus offer. The assets have been attached by the ED so they cannot be bogus assets," he said, asserting that his offer to repay the principal amount was not bogus.
The embattled liquor tycoon said that the value of his assets is more than enough to pay everybody (kingfisher employees) and that is exactly what he was focusing on.
"I want to disprove the narrative that I have stolen (money)," he said.
He said his legal team will review the judgment and take proper steps thereafter.
In reference to settlement offer to Karnataka High Court, Mallya said that he has requested the court that if the settlement is granted then first the employees of Kingfisher be paid.
The trial, which opened at the Magistrates' Court on December 4 last year, has gone through a series of hearings beyond the initial seven days earmarked for it.
With PTI inputs