On 10 December, UK Westminster court ruled in favour of Indian authorities request for extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya. Now the UK home office has confirmed that they have received the court verdict.
British-Pakistani Home Secretary Sajid Javid will now contemplate on the order of the court and then decide whether further action on extradition should be taken or not. Secretary has two months to give orders, only after which the further process can take place. If Secretary finds the court’s order valid and gives a decision in favour of Indian authorities, then Mallya can appeal to High Court, to stall the process.
Further, if High Court also serves verdict against Vijay Mallya, he can appeal to Apex Court, but only if High Court or Supreme Court permits.
The Indian government had been trying hard to extradite Vijay Mallya after he ran away to the UK on March 2, 2016. Mallya faces charges of defaulting on loans to the tune of Rs 9000 crores. The extradition trial which began at the London court on December 4 last year, was aimed at proving the fraud case against Mallya and convincing the court that he will be subject to a fair trial in the country. After extensive written and oral submissions made by both Indian government and Mallya, the court decided that there is no merit in accusations made by Mallya against Indian government about the unfair trial, and ordered that the proceedings for his extradition to India may be initiated by the UK government.
Mallya’s lawyers had also claimed that Indian prisons won’t be able to take care of his health due to the inadequacy of sufficient medical facilities there. Judge Emma Arbuthnot rubbished the claims and asserted that Indian authorities have provided an ample amount of assurance that Mallya’s health will be well taken care of by medical care available at Barrack 12 of Mumbai’s Central Jail on Arthur Road.
On 31st July this year, the court had asked Indian authorities to submit a “step by step video” of the jail compartment where Mallya would be kept. Subsequently, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a nearly 10 minute-long video highlighting various facilities, such as a television set, private toilet, a washing area, availability of proper natural light, access to library and a courtyard to take a walk, before the London court.
Lawyers defending Mallya’s extradition also raised allegations that CBI Special director Rakesh Asthana is a corrupt officer, and that his actions against Mallya were politically motivated. However, The judge said that there was no truth in those allegations and they were not backed by substance.
“I find that there is no evidence that Mr Asthana has acted corruptly. I noted the Supreme Court cleared Mr Asthana of the allegations made against his integrity.” Judge said.
“If after considering the case, the Home Secretary thinks extradition should go ahead he has to order the extradition within two months of the date the matter was referred to him,” said a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which argued on behalf of the Indian authorities.