New Delhi: Nearly two years after fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya left India on 2 March 2016, a UK court is set to decided on his extradition, later today. While a team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials are present in the UK for the hearing, Mallya is likely to appeal against the verdict if the court decides in favour of extradition.
Verdict day for Vijay Mallya: UK court to decide on extradition today
Mallya has, in the past, challenged his extradition on grounds of “human rights conditions” in Indian jails.
At the same time, 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.
A team of officials led by the CBI’s joint director, S. Sai Manohar, left for London on Sunday to attend the hearing, that is scheduled for later on Monday, persons familiar with the development said.
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.
The matter first came to light when CBI, following a complaint by the State Bank of India (SBI), registered a case against Mallya in August 2016.
In June 2017, the ED filed a chargehseet under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) alleging that Mallya fled to the UK on 2 March 2016 as a consortium of 13 banks, led by the State Bank of India closed in on him, with Mallya owing ₹9,000 crore.