London, April 20: In a major setback to fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, the High Court of England and Wales on Monday dismissed his appeal against his extradition to India to face fraud and money laundering charges. Vijay Mallya, who is staying abroad for the last four years, is not willing to return to India to face charges. He allegedly owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to 13 Indian banks. He had appealed against the Westminster Magistrates' Court's order. Vijay Mallya Petitions Supreme Court, Seeks Stay on Confiscation of Properties Not Related to Kingfisher Airlines.
Lord Justice Stephen Irwin and Justice Elisabeth Laing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, dismissed Mallya's appeal. "We consider that while the scope of the prima facie case found by the SDJ [Senior District Judge] is in some respects wider than that alleged by the Respondent in India [Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED)], there is a prima facie case which, in seven important respects, coincides with the allegations in India," they held. Vijay Mallya Decries Witch-Hunt After UK High Court Permits Appeal Against His Extradition Order.
On March 31, Mallya had reiterated his offer to return the money he owed to a consortium of Indian banks, and sought Centre's help. "India is under a lockdown, and we respect it. But the functioning of my companies has stopped due to lockdown. All production has shut, but we are still not sending back our employees and thus paying for it. So, the government should help us," Mallya, who is staying in the UK after fleeing India, had tweeted.
Mallya had said that he had made offers to return the outstanding dues many times but neither the banks nor the Enforcement Directorate were cooperating. He had added that he hoped that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would listen to him in this hour of crisis.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 20, 2020 03:48 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).