ABOUT-TURN: London court orders extradition of fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya … Will banks get back the Rs 9000crore?


LONDON: After protracted legal battle, absconding Indian businessman Vijay Mallya was ordered to be extradited to his native India by the Westminster Magistrate’s Court here on Monday. Mallya, a former parliament member who headed the family-run Kingfisher group with major stakes in liquor business and aviation, is wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering to the extent of Rs 9,000 crore.
There still are if’s and but’s. It was not immediately known whether Mallya would again seek legal recourse in higher courts to block his extradition. Governmental approval is also required for the extradition. Mallya had stated two days ago that he was willing to return to India and pay back every penny he owed the Indian banks. It was the unforeseen upsets in the aviation sector in India that put him in debt, he had said.
Mallya’s promise to return to India had come immediately after AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel was extradited to India by UAE less than a week ago. The matter of extradition of Mallya has now been referred to the Secretary of State of UK.
Mallya was quoted as saying, “I want to disprove the narrative that I stole money. There is nothing in-genuine about my offer to pay the banks what I took, I have made the offer before court of law. I won’t disrespect the court by making a bogus offer.”
The 62-year-old businessman based out of Karnataka fled the country for London on March 2, 2016. This, despite the issue of a look-out notice to stall his exit from the country. He left with plane-loads of baggage and went about partying in London and elsewhere in the UK since then. – Agencies, IHN-NN

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