The fate of Vijay Mallya, the once ‘king of good times’ now going through terribly bad times will be decided on Monday as the Westminster Magistrate’s court is expected to pronounce judgement on the Indian government’s plea for his extradition.
Mallya is wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crores. He fled to the UK ion March 2016 while still a Rajya Sabha and has been holed up there since. He was arrested in April last year but has been on bail since. 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. As late as two days back, he tweeted “With respect where have I defrauded Banks? I did not borrow a single rupee. The borrower was Kingfisher Airlines. Money was lost due to a genuine and sad business failure. Being held as guarantor is not fraud. “I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount to them. Please take it,” the flamboyant businessman tweeted earlier.
Meanwhile a team led by a CBI Joint Director A Sai Manohar left for London on Saturday to attend court proceedings in London. Earlier, the agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana led the team which had been working on the case in coordination with the British Crown Prosecution since December last year. However, following charges and counter charges between him and CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma, the government stripped them of their powers pending an inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission.
—India Legal Bureau