Vijay Mallya gets a ‘Modi’ backing

Hearing on Vijay Mallya’s extradition case will now take place on June 13 as Britain seeks evidence that no bona fide losses were suffered by the business tycoon

Photo by Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Vikrant Jha

Industrialist Vijay Mallya received unexpected backing from Cricket Czar, Lalit Kumar Modi after former’s extradition case hearing was shifted to June 13.

Modi, in a series of tweets, advised the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is seeking Mallya’s extradition from England, to abide by the law and not make up the law. He also added for good measure, that to prosecute someone in the UK, “the deed committed must be criminal in UK as if the deed was committed in UK.”

Once hailed as ‘the king of good times’, Mallya is accused by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of financial fraud and money laundering. The owner of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines allegedly owes over ₹ 9000 crore to various Indian Banks.

Mallya is accused of having laundered half the loans he secured from the IDBI bank to acquire personal assets in the US, UK, Ireland, Switzerland and Mauritius between 2010-14, reported Livemint quoting an anonymous ED official.

Former IPL Chairman, Lalit Modi, interestingly was in a similar situation as ED had tried for his extradition too, accusing him of cheating BCCI and laundering ₹ 425 crores. ED claimed that Modi misappropriated funds and received monetary gains through broadcast deals and media rights. However, ED’s attempts remained unfruitful as they couldn’t persuade courts in UK to allow his extradition.

ED’s efforts to extradite Vijay Mallya seems to have taken a similar turn as Britain has asked them to provide documents proving “Mallya a wilful defaulter” and that the case is “criminal - not civil - in nature,” reported Hindustan Times.

Vijay Mallya, however, seems unperturbed by everything happening around him. A closer look at his twitter handle shows he has been active on the micro-blogging site, albeit he has not shared anything relating to his extradition case except for retweeting Modi’s ‘supporting’ tweets.

Recently, he has wished “Barbados Tridents Captain, Kieron Pollard” and has retweeted various tweets by his Formula1 team, Sahara Force India. He seems unfazed, at least as of now.

According to a PTI report, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will be arguing on behalf on the Indian authorities when the hearing will happen in Britain’s Westminster Magistrate Court on June 13. Earlier, Mallya was arrested by the Scotland Yard last month but was released in a few hours on conditional bail after providing a bail bond worth £ 650,000 and surrendering his passport and travel documents.

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Published: 13 May 2017, 4:58 PM