Vijay Mallya's appeal against extradition to India to be heard in UK court

WION Web Team London, London, Great Britain (UK) Feb 11, 2020, 02.15 PM(IST)

File photo of Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya. Photograph:( AFP )

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Mallya has remained on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant and has sought permission to appeal from the High Court against the extradition order.

Vijay Mallya, liquor baron charged with fraud and money laundering of around Rs 9,000 crores will be appearing in front of the UK High Court. 

Mallya has remained on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April 2017 and has sought permission to appeal from the High Court against the extradition order.

A two-member High Court bench comprising Justices George Leggatt and Andrew Popplewell ruled last year that "arguments can be reasonably made” on some aspects of the prima facie case ruling by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot in her extradition order of December 2018.

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Clare Montgomery, a member of Mallya's legal team, had questioned the basis on which Judge Arbuthnot had arrived at certain conclusions. She had further claimed that the Chief Magistrate had been "plain wrong" in accepting some of the Indian authorities' assertions. 

Some of these assertions stated that Mallya had fraudulent intentions when he sought some of the loans for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines and that he made misrepresentations to the banks to seek the loans and had no intentions of paying them back.

Mallya has been very public about his intention of reimbursing the money to the Indian banks and that he felt “vindicated” by the ruling.

High Court judges who accepted Judge Arbuthnot's conclusions on certain aspects of the extradition case had dismissed the grounds on which permission to appeal was sought, including the “extraneous circumstances” of Mallya being pursued by Indian authorities due to political reasons.

Other grounds on which claims were invoked included that Mallya would not receive a fair trial in India, a statement which was dismissed as the judges upheld Arbuthnot's ruling on the matter that the broad media interest in the case would guarantee justice.

Assurances from the government of India that Mallya would be held in safe prison conditions were also challenged by Mallya's legal team.

Judge Arbuthnot had found “clear evidence of dispersal and misapplication of the loan funds” after a year-long extradition trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London and accepted a prima facie case of fraud and a conspiracy to launder money against Mallya. A bail bond worth 650,000 pounds is involved with Mallya's bail as well as other restrictions on travel.