UK Court Extradites ‘Kingfisher King’ Vijay Mallya Back to India

A UK court has decided to extradite Indian billionaire, Vijay Mallya, back to India, to face charges regarding fraud amounting to Rs 9,000 crores.

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"A bejewelled, billionaire playboy." 

Former business tycoon, Vijay Mallya, has been ordered by a UK court to return back to India to face charges of fraud.

A London court decided on December 10, 2018, that Mallya must be extradited back to India and deal with charges of fraud and money laundering.

These charges came to light following the collapse of Mallya’s defunct airlines, Kingfisher Airlines.

The airline was reporting mass losses. It was unable to pay its employees with banks and creditors looking to Mallya for repayment of the loans he had taken out.

Mallya fled India in March 2016.

Amidst all this chaos Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, had made it his aim to bring Mallya back to India to make him pay his outstanding debt of Rs 9,000 crores (£90 billion).

It appears the British courts agreed with Modi’s decision and it has been confirmed that Mallya must now return back to India.

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Judge Emma Arbuthnot told Mallya in the Westminster Magistrate’s Court:

“I am ordering your extradition.”

The judge also referred to Mallya as:

Vijay Mallya Background

  • Vijay Mallya was previously an illustrious business tycoon, he earned his fortune through alcohol and airlines.
  • He had launched an airline under the name of Kingfisher Airlines.
  • The airline became insolvent and reports surfaced that Mallya had been laundering money from the company.
  • Employee wages at Kingfisher Airlines had been unpaid for four months.
  • Mallya fled to the UK after the Indian government set out to make Mallya pay his outstanding debt of Rs 9,000 crores (£90 billion).
  • UK courts decided on December 10, 2018 that Mallya must return to India to face the consequences of his actions.

“A bejewelled, billionaire playboy.”

Vijay has previously been nicknamed the ‘Good Time King’ and ‘India’s Richard Branson’.

The billionaire has been made famous by his lavish lifestyle, wild parties and his general playboy persona.

Mallya a previous co-owner of Force India, has adamantly denied the fraud charges against him. He had previously earned his fortune in the liquor trade, being made famous by Kingfisher beers.

He has stated this whole ‘witch-hunt’, has been a politically driven conspiracy against him.

The judge’s ruling to extradite Mallya will be passed over to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, for approval.

Mallya’s lawyer has previously used the political climate in India and media scrutiny as reasons to avoid extradition, however, these claims were firmly dismissed in court.

Another defence argument used for Mallya was that the condition of jails in India would infringe upon his human rights because they were not suitable.

After reviewing a video, which depicted the recently redecorated Barrack 12, of Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail, where Vijay Mallya would be taken.

The judge said that the jail:

“Gives accurate portrayal and has been recently redecorated.”

The court also highlighted that the jail has special medical provisions in place for Mallya and that there is no evidence to suggest this jail would be an infringement on Mallya’s human rights.

Indian politicians have taken to Twitter to highlight their delight in the UK’s decision to extradite Mallya.

Most have credited Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, for this win of anti-corruption in India. The timing is particularly useful as elections are currently taking place in India.

Outside of  the Westminster court after the verdict, Vijay Mallya stated that he had plans in motion already to repay his loans. 

Mallya said:

“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.”

Interestingly, Mallya is an ex-member of parliament for Karnataka, he served his role during the period of July 1, 2010-May 2, 2016.

So, it appears the ex-tycoon may still be using his pre-established contacts to help him in this situation.

However, the approval of Vijay Mallya’s extradition now lies with the Home Secretary and Mallya does retain the right to appeal this decision in higher UK courts.

Jasneet Kaur Bagri - Jas is a Social Policy graduate. She loves to read, write and travel; gathering as much insight into the world and how it works. Her motto derives from her favourite philosopher Auguste Comte, "Ideas govern the world, or throw it into chaos."

Images courtesy of Twitter.