London: UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya on charges of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering offences, the Home Office said on Monday, in a major blow to the embattled liquor baron. The 63-year-old businessman had been found to have a case to answer before the Indian courts by Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on December 10, 2018. Javid, the UK’s senior-most Pakistani-origin minister, had two months from that date to sign off on that order.
The UK Home Office confirmed on Monday that after considering all matters, the minister had signed Mallya’s extradition order on Sunday. “On February 3 the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India,” a Home Office spokesperson said. “Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences,” the spokesperson added.
Mallya is on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017 after the Indian authorities brought fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores against the former Kingfisher Airlines boss. He now has 14 days from February 4 to apply for leave to appeal to the UK High Court. The former Kingfisher Airlines’ boss has earlier indicated that he intends to file an application to appeal against the Westminster Magistrates’ Court verdict in favour of his extradition to India.
The businessman had told reporters soon after the ruling by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot in London in December 2018 that he would consider the verdict in detail and decide his next course of action. His legal team later confirmed that he will seek leave to appeal against the court order. “Dr Mallya has now been able to consider the court’s decision and intends to file an application for permission to appeal at the appropriate time,” said Anand Doobay, Partner at UK-based Boutique Law LLP, who has been Mallya’s solicitor through the extradition process.