India’s investigating agencies and the Modi government have won a great victory after UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday approved fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya’s extradition order.
A UK Home Office spokesperson said the Secretary of State signed the extradition order on Feb 3 after carefully considering the charges against him.
This massive development in the Mallya case comes when back home, India’s prime investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), is being criticised by corrupt opposition parties for trying to question a police commissioner in a major graft case in West Bengal.
Mallya has two weeks to appeal the government order. Even if he moves the high court, it may at best examine whether Mallya got a full and comprehensive hearing. Such court procedures will not take more than a week.
Since the Westminster Magistrates’ Court extensively heard the case and the Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot had ruled in favour of Mallya’s extradition in December last year, any reversal of the ruling is unlikely especially since the Home Office has approved the extradition.
The Supreme Court will admit appeals only on rulings that are of great public interest. Mallya’s case is not of much concern for Britons.
The Home Secretary’s letter said the UK agrees with India that Mallya was involved in conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences.
The absconding liquor baron left India on March 2, 2016 after defaulting on loan amounting to $1,255 million he had taken for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
On Friday, Mallya questioned the justice system, saying his group’s properties worth over $1,813 million have already been attached.
Last month, India declared Mallya as a fugitive economic offender.