India just moved a step closer to securing the extradition of Vijay Mallya
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- The UK’s Home Secretary,
Sajid Javid, has finally signed off on the extradition of Vijay Mallya.
- This comes two months after the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled that the liquor baron could be extradited to India in order to answer for his alleged crimes.
- Mallya now has 14 days to appeal the ruling.
The case was sent to the UK Home Office In December 2018 after the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled that liquor baron Vijay Mallya could be extradited to India in order to answer for his alleged crimes. It took the full two months it had to make a decision.
Javid’s verdict is an important victory for India. In addition to the severity of Mallya’s financial crimes, it was asked to guarantee that he would be subjected to a fair trial and humane living conditions while in jail.
Mallya now has 14 days to appeal the ruling. For his part, he has vehemently denied reports that he fled India to prevent imprisonment and even said that he had made offers to pay back his loans. He took to Twitter shortly after the UK’s Home Office announced his decision.
After the decision was handed down on December 10,2018 by the Westminster Magistrates Court, I stated my intention to appeal. I could not initiate the appeal process before a decision by the Home Secretary. Now I will initiate the appeal process.— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) February 4, 2019
Given that Mallya now has the all-clear to appeal his extradition, it could be still be a few months before his extradition takes place. However, the Modi administration will likely do its best to secure his return before general elections in May, which will give it an important symbolic victory and bolster its anti-corruption stance.
Separately, a special court set up under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act is expected to take a decision this week on a plea filed by a consortium of lenders led by the State Bank of India on whether ₹125 billion worth of confiscated assets belonging to Mallya can be liquidated at the earliest.
The extradition of Vijay Mallya: The Indian government has secured a key victory but a lot more work remains
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