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Mallya to appeal against extradition, ED says banks can sell assets

In response to U.K. Home Secretary – Sajid Javid’s order of extradition, dated February 3, 2019, Vijay Mallya has said that he will make an appeal against the order in the High Court.

Soon after the Home Secretary’s order, Mallya tweeted, “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.”

The 63 years old liquor tycoon is facing charges of fraud and money laundering, amounting to Rs. 9,000 crores in India. Mallya had left India in March 2016 and has been living in U.K. since then. In the past, he had said the Indian Government is accusing him wrongfully. He had also said in August 2018 that prison conditions are in India are poor. Subsequently, the Indian Government had to submit a video of Arthur Road Jail to U.K. Government. The U.K. Court then ruled out the objections raised by Mallya.

What happens now?

Mallya has a time of 14 days to file an appeal in the High Court. On filing of the application, the High Court will review if there are enough grounds for the appeal to be admitted. If admitted, it will begin a series of court proceedings over the next few months in the Administrative Court, which is part of the UK High Court.

Post the decision of the High Court, both Mallya and The Crown Prosecution Service, a principal public prosecuting agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales, which is contesting the case of behalf of the Indian Government, will have the right to challenge the High Court ruling in the Supreme Court. This would mean another 6 months before any major development takes place.

The Extradition Treaty of India and U.K.

For the records, India and U.K. have signed an Extradition Treaty in 1992 which came into force in November 1993. As of now, there has been only one case of extradition from U.K. to India. Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel was extradited in 2016 to face court trail in connection with his involvement in the post-Godhra riots of 2002.

Since India falls under the Category 2 set of countries as per U.K.’s Extradition Act 2003, any decision of the Courts has to be endorsed by the U.K. Home Secretary, who is authorized to order extradition.

Developments in India

Responding to the application filed by the lenders in the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court in Mumbai, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has said that it has no objection if banks want to go-ahead with the sale of Mallya’s seized assets.

However, the banks had to guarantee that they will return the money to the Court, in case, Mallya wins the criminal trial.

The court has now been adjourned till March 13, 2019.

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