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UK government approves Vijay Mallya's extradition to India, he says he will appeal

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

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 04, 2019, 09.05 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has signed off on the order to extradite Vijay Mallya to India

A UK Home Office spokesperson confirmed to WION that "on 3 February, the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India."

Mallya is accused in India of fraud, money laundering and violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). 

Mallya's extradition to India had been ordered by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on December 10, 2018, after which the home secretary had two months to review and formally approve the extradition.

That deadline would have expired on February 10. 

Mallya now has 14 days to appeal the Westminster Magistrates’ Court's verdict. On Monday, he said he would. 

"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," Mallya tweeted. 

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Also read: A timeline of the Vijay Mallya extradition case

Taking note of the UK government's decision, government sources told WION: "While we welcome the UK government's decision in the matter, we await the early completion of the legal process for his extradition."

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley meanwhile tweeted, "Modi Government clears one more step to get Mallya extradited while Opposition rallies around the Saradha Scamsters."

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The Modi government has made the return of fugitive businessmen an election plank and over the last four years, 16 fugitives have been extradited to India.

In 2018, New Delhi brought back five fugitives. Of the five, three were Indian, one was Romanian, and one the British-born Christian James Michel.

India has also been pressing the United Kingdom to extradite Nirav Modi. 

India sent two extradition request to London in August 2018 — one from the CBI and the other from Enforcement Directorate. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the "requests are presently under the consideration of the concerned UK authorities."

Mallya had said last week that his group's assets — "worth over 13,000 crores" — had been attached by the consortium of banks to which he owes the money. 

Mallya said that that was far over the Rs 9,000 crore he owes to the banks. "Where is Justice or fair play?" he tweeted. 

Mallya added that the "banks have given an open licence to their lawyers in England to pursue multiple frivolous litigations against me." 

"Who is accountable for spending public money on legal fees in such a brazen manner?" he then went on to ask. 

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Mallya had borrowed the Rs 9,000 crore for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. He is accused of having siphoned off (part of) the money for personal and other uses. 

The consortium of banks trying to recover their money from Mallya is led by the State Bank of India.