New Delhi: In a major setback for fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, the UK court rejected his plea, seeking a stay on his extradition order.

The British government on April 4 approved the extradition of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India- where he is wanted in the Rs 9,000-crore Kingfisher Airlines loan default case.

A note issued by Press Officer Bethany Ditzel, citing a UK Home Office spokesperson, said, “On 3 February, the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India. Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences. He has 14 days from today to apply for leave to appeal.”

The Westminster Magistrates Court in the UK on December 10 gave the ruling to extradite Mallya following prolonged litigation.

Mallya, 63, left India on March 2, 2016 after defaulting on loan amounting to Rs 9,000 crore he had taken for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines but he has repeatedly denied fleeing the country, saying he is ready to pay back the money he owed to the Indian banks.

A consortium of 13 banks — led by the State Bank of India (SBI) — has been preparing to initiate loan recovery proceedings against him.

The proceedings are on before the Mumbai Special Court against Mallya under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Kingfisher began defaulting on loans in 2009-10.

Late in 2017, India had filed extradition proceedings against Mallya which he contested. He is currently out on bail in London.

On June 22, the Enforcement Directorate had moved the Special PMLA Court to declare Mallya a “fugitive economic offender” and confiscate all his properties, estimated at more than Rs 12,000 crore, making it the first such case of its kind under the new FEOA (Fugitive Economic Offender Act) law.

 

With IANS inputs