Business tycoon Vijay Mallya wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges will be extradited to India, London’s Westminster Magistrates Court ruled on Monday.
The verdict of Mallya’s extradition to India to stand trial on the charges brought by the CBI and ED was pronounced by Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot.
Chief Magistrate Judge Arbuthnot has found prima facie a case against Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.
The matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India has been referred to the Secretary of State of the UK.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) welcomed Mallya’s extradition ruling.
Mallya has the option of going to a higher court.
The money laundering fraud and money laundering charges against Mallya amounts to an estimated Rs 9,000 crores.
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss has been on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year.
Talking to reporters outside the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ahead of the hearing on Monday, 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”.
“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,” Mallya 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 and that is exactly what he was focusing on.
“I want to disprove the narrative that I have stolen (money),” he said.
Mallya has contested his extradition on the grounds that the case against him is “politically motivated” and the loans he has been accused of defrauding on were sought to keep his now-defunct airline afloat.
“I did not borrow a single rupee. The borrower was Kingfisher Airlines. Money was lost due to a genuine and sad business failure. Being held as guarantor is not fraud,” he said in his most recent Twitter post on the issue.
“I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount to them. Please take it,” he had tweeted earlier.
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.
It opened with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) team, led by Mark Summers, laying out the Indian government’s prima facie case of fraud and money laundering against Mallya.