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D-Day Arrives For Vijay Mallya: LIVE UPDATES As Westminster Court Pronounces Its Extradition Verdict

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • The Westminster Magistrates' Court will pronounce its verdict in the Vijay Mallya extradition case on Monday
  • Mallya has recently made desperate pleas on social media offering to repay the principal amount of his outstanding loans

Update at 7:30 PM: Vijay Mallya's extradition is a very significant development in India's fight against corruption. The credit for this goes entirely to Prime Minister Narendra Modi: BJP president Amit Shah

Update at 7:26 PM: I think all of heard the judge. She told me its a long process. She told me about my right to appeal. I have rights. You heard the judge. My legal team will analyze various options, then I will decide how to go forward. It is unfortunate that judge found prima facie case that I made misrepresentations to the bank. My legal people will consider all options and respond: Vijay Mallya on the Westminster Court's verdict of his extradition.

Update at 7:08 PM: Why Mallya? Let's talk about Rafale. If we are talking about corruption, why not talk about Rafale?: Congress president Rahul Gandhi

Update at 6:45 PM: After Christian Michel, it is the turn for Vijay Mallya: Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu

Update at 6:35 PM: The UK court order of Vijay Mallya's extradition to India is a MAJOR victory in our war on UPA's scams: Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister of Sports

Update at 6:23 PM: Great Day for India. No one who cheats India will go scot free. The Judgement of UK’s Court is welcome. An offender benefited during the UPA. The NDA brings him to book: Union Minister Arun Jaitley

Update at 6:14 PM: Order copy for the extradition of Vijay Mallya by the UK Court

Update at 6:00 PM: 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 the extradition process: CBI on Vijay Mallya

Update at 5:55 PM: The matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India has been referred to the Secretary of State.

Update at 5:50 PM: Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot has found prima facie a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering: ANI

Update at 5:44 PM: UK Court orders the extradition of Vijay Mallya

Update at 3:34 PM: I was very never dismissive of anything. Matter is going on before Karnataka High Court. Let the court decide. I want to pay the employees. If court accepts my offer, will pay the employees first: Vijay Mallya at Westminster Magistrates' Court, London.

Update at 3:34 PM: Vijay Mallya enters the public gallery

Update at 3:04 PM: Whatever the decision we will review it and take the appropriate steps we will do whatever we need to do. I can only say we first need to read the judgement in total before making. Any decisions. As to the political motivations I think in all the various submissions we have made over the course of the trial that's pretty self evident: Vijay Mallya as he arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court, London

Update at 3:04 PM: Vijay Mallya arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court, London.

Update at 3:00 PM: Arthur Road jail sources to Republic TV: There is a special barrack for Vijay Mallya. He will not get any VVIP treatment and will be treated as any other prisoner


D-Day has finally arrived for liquor baron Vijay Mallya who is wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges over unpaid loans amounting to more than Rs 9000 crore borrowed from a consortium of Indian banks. He is expected to be present at the Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday where the verdict on India's extradition plea is expected to be delivered.  

The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss has been on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year. He 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," a spooked Mallya said on Twitter recently in the aftermath of British businessman Christian Michel's extradition from Dubai to India in the AgustaWestland case.

"I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount to them. Please take it," the flamboyant businessman added in his tweet.

While dismissing that his intervention has anything to do with either his or Christian Michel's extradition cases, it came just days before Judge Emma Arbuthnot is expected to present her ruling in the case.

The Mallya Extradition Trial:

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.

Summers sought to establish a "blueprint of dishonesty" against the businessman and that there are no bars to his extradition on human rights grounds.

Mallya's defence team, led by Clare Montgomery, deposed a series of experts in an attempt to prove that the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines' alleged default of bank loans was the result of business failure rather than "dishonest" and "fraudulent" activity by its owner. The court was also told that a consortium of Indian banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), rejected an offer by the liquor baron in early 2016 to pay back nearly 80 per cent of the principal loan amount owed to them.

While the CPS argued that Mallya never intended to repay the loans he sought in the first place because his airline's demise was inevitable, the defence tried to establish that Kingfisher Airlines was suffering from consequences of a wider global financial crisis around 2009-2010 and that its failure was a result of factors beyond the company's control.

"There are clear signs that the banks seem to have gone against their own guidelines [in sanctioning some of the loans]," Judge Arbuthnot had noted during the course of the trial. Documents accessed by Republic TV had also shown how the RBI had been compelled to alter its guidelines for the entire aviation industry solely for the benefit of Kingfisher Airlines, and that unpaid loans were evergreened.

In relation to the defence's attempts to dispute Indian prison conditions as a bar to Mallya's extradition on human rights grounds, the judge had indicated to the CPS that she did not require any further information in reference to the prison conditions awaiting Mallya at Barrack 12 of Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail after seeking a video of the cell.

Mallya also created high-controversy in India during the last trial by saying that he had met the Finance Minister in Parliament right before he fled from India. However, after Arun Jaitley revealed that what Mallya described as a meeting was more akin to Mallya chasing him to his chambers and not being entertained, Mallya concurred by offering the same account. This, however, gave the opposition and opportunity to attack the government, with Rahul Gandhi producing PL Punia who claimed that he had seen Jaitley and Mallya speak to each other, though Punia had hardly made mention of it earlier.

What happens next?

"If the judge is satisfied that all of the procedural requirements are met, and that none of the statutory bars to extradition apply, he or she must send the case to the Secretary of State for a decision to be taken on whether to order extradition," explains Pavani Reddy, a UK-based legal expert and Managing Partner of Zaiwalla & Co.

The judge's decision on whether to send Mallya's case to UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid can be appealed with the UK High Court's permission, with the person to be extradited entitled to make an application for permission to appeal to the High Court within 14 days of the date of the Chief Magistrate's ruling.

On the other hand, the Indian government would also have 14 days to file leave to appeal to the High Court, seeking permission to appeal against a decision not to extradite.

"In case the concerned individual does not file an appeal, and Secretary of State agrees with the magistrate's decision, then the individual must be extradited from the UK within 28 days of the Home Secretary's extradition order.

"This will also apply if an appeal lodged by either party in the High Court is unsuccessful, but the 28 days will commence from the date when the appeal hearing was concluded," said Reddy.

If the judgment goes ahead as scheduled on Monday, it would mark a significant point in this high-profile extradition trial that has lasted over a year.

(With PTI inputs)

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