Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya, the founder of failed airline Kingfisher, faces extradition to his homeland after a United Kingdom court ruled he should be sent there to face fraud charges. On the issue of brand valuation, something which was discussed very intensely during the trial, the court found that Kingfisher had suppressed the less favourable valuation of the brand and instead only shared the one which had given a significantly higher amount of valuation.
"We welcome the decision and hope to bring Vijay Mallya back soon". Notably, the 62-year-old is being investigated for fraud and money-laundering by the Indian enforcement agencies.
Importantly, Vijay Mallya has been fighting the extradition battle with the Indian government on allegations that he defaulted on loans worth Rs 9,000 crore given to now defunct Kingfisher Airlines by Indian banks. We worked hard on this case.
Delivering the verdict at Westminster Magistrates' Court, Judge Arbuthnot said there is a prima facie case against Mallya and that she is satisfied that his human rights would not be infringed in Barrack 12 of Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai, where he is to be held on being extradited. "We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process", reported ANI.
"Or it is a case of a bank who were in the thrall of this glamorous, flashy, famous, bejewelled, bodyguarded, ostensibly billionaire playboy who charmed and cajoled these bankers into losing their common sense and persuading them to put their own rules and regulations to one side", she said, in one of her most critical statements in the judgment.
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Mallya is alleged to have knowingly misled largely state-owned banks about the fortunes of the failing airline, before laundering the cash to fund his Formula 1 motor racing team and other projects. During the hearing India was able to convince the court that the argument advanced by Mallya was false. The judgement of UK's court is welcome.
"There was no evidence which allowed me to find that if extradited, Mallya was at risk of suffering a flagrant denial of justice", she added.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India will continue to work with the British government for "expeditious" implementation of the court order. It's not just a case of repayment of money it also involves a lot of criminal deeds.
The liquor baron has been on bail since an extradition warrant was passed against him in April a year ago. "It is not uncommon for a court of appeal to overturn the verdict of a lower court".