Vijay Mallya takes appeal to Supreme Court to dodge extradition
Vijay Mallya has made his final roll of the dice by seeking permission from Britain’s Supreme Court to have the order to extradite him to India overturned.
Last month, the UK Appeal Court rejected the case presented by the beleaguered former head of both United Breweries and United Spirits, finding in a 43-page ruling that there was a prima facie case for him to face trial in India on charges of conspiracy to defraud, misrepresentation, conspiracy and money laundering.
Since he fled to Britain in March 2006, Mallya has consistently denied the charges, which involve £1.15 billion he borrowed from Indian banks to keep his doomed airline business, Kingfisher, from collapsing.
“After the appeal was rejected, Mr. Mallya had 14 days to file an application in the High Court for an approval to appeal in the Supreme Court,” an official with India’s Enforcement Directorate said yesterday. “He has submitted the application, which is likely to be taken up soon. We are hopeful that the plea will be dismissed, given the strong observations in the April 20 judgment.”
If Mallya’s case is rejected by the Supreme Court, Britain will have 28-days in which to send him back to India, where a court in Mumbai has already declared him a fugitive under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
That may prove challenging given that India is in lockdown to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus and has banned all in-coming travel. If that remains the case, the UK courts would have the option of withdrawing his bail and holding him in a Britishjail until the extradition order could be enforced.