London [United Kingdom], Dec 10 (ANI): In a major victory for the government, a London court on Monday ordered the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is facing charges of loan default to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. Also Read - Mumbai Rains: Heavy Rains Paralyse City, IMD Warns of 'Flooding', Local Trains Suspended Due to Waterlogging; BMC Declares Holiday
The Westminster Magistrates Court’s Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot in London gave the ruling after finding merit in the charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering registered against him in India and rejecting Mallya’s contention that he ran a “real risk of suffering a flagrant denial of justice” in India. Also Read - Monsoon Session Day 2: Lok Sabha Passes Essential Commodities Bill to Raise Farmer Income, Boost Agri Sector | Highlights
The Chief Magistrate went by the Indian government’s assurances regarding the living conditions that Mallya would be provided in his jail cell, saying it had no reason to believe that the assurances would be breached. Mallya is slated to be kept in the barrack no. 12 in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail. Also Read - Kangana Ranaut Receives Notice From BMC Over 'Unauthorised Construction' of Her Residence, Here’s What They Found ‘Illegal’
Judge Arbuthnot also rejected the defence contention that judges in India are corrupt.
Mallya termed the judgement as “unfortunate” and said he would further explore all legal options to his comfort.
The judgement was hailed by the government, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley using it to target Congress president Rahul Gandhi and asking him to seriously introspect on “every falsehood” spoken on this subject.
Jaitley, while speaking to ANI, said it was the Congress that had created a system in which people like Mallya can “prosper”.
He further stated that the development was a signal to all others who think that they are powerful and can hide after cheating the country. “Wherever in the world you hide after cheating the country, India will find you,” the Finance Minister said.
In her ruling, Judge Arbuthnot said “I find that the allegations set out in the Request are extradition offences within the meaning of section 137(3) of the Extradition Act 2003,” adding, “I have found a prima facie case in relation to three possible charges”.
“Extradition arrangements work on the basis of trust and any failure to abide by the assurances would doubtlessly affect the trust between this court and the GOI. I have no reason at all to think that the GOI would want to breach that trust,” she added.
The Chief Magistrate rejected suggestions that CBI courts are “too pliable” while dealing with CBI casesand dismissed the defence’s argument that the case was brought to “meet a political objective to quell public anger at the accumulation of bad debts by Indian state-owned banks.”
Mallya is facing money-laundering charges to the tune of Rs 9000 crores and left India in 2016, following which, India initiated extradition proceedings against him. The matter of Mallya’s extradition has now been referred to UK’s Secretary of State. (ANI)
This is published unedited from the ANI feed.