Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Monday lost an appeal to the UK High Court against his 2018 extradition order to India to face charges of financial irregularities.
The businessman is wanted in India on alleged fraud and financial offences amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore borrowed by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) from several Indian banks.
According to reports, a consortium of Indian public sector banks led by the State Bank of India had sought a bankruptcy order against Vijay Mallya as part of efforts to recoup around GBP 1.145 billion of unpaid loans from the 64-year-old businessman.
The case, reports said, will now go to Union home secretary Priti Patel for a final decision on his extradition to India.
The appeal was rejected by the two-member Bench of Justices Irwin and Elisabeth Laing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Due to the restrictions in view of the COVID19 pandemic, the judgment was remotely handed down by email.
The former Kingfisher Airlines boss appealed to the UK High Court against his extradition to India during a hearing in February this year.
Lord Justice Stephen Irwin and Justice Elisabeth Laing, the two-member bench at the Royal Courts of Justice in London presiding over the appeal, dismissed the appeal in a judgment handed down remotely due to the current coronavirus lockdown.
The Judges ruled: “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.”
The High Court in London deferred hearings on a plea by the SBI-led consortium of Indian banks, seeking Vijay Mallya to be declared bankrupt to enable them recover their loan from the business tycoon.