New Delhi: UK Westminster Magistrates' Court Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot on Monday ordered the extradition of absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya on the charges brought by the CBI and ED.
The decision would now go to the UK Home Office for the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to pass an order based on the verdict. Both sides will have the right to file for a permission to appeal in the Chief Magistrate's ruling in the UK High Court. On the other hand, the Indian government would also have 14 days to file leave to appeal to the High Court, seeking permission to appeal against a decision not to extradite.
Vijay Mallya is wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crores.
The trial, which opened at the Magistrates' Court on December 4 last year, has gone through a series of hearings beyond the initial seven days earmarked for it.
Before the announcement of the verdict, Mallya told journalists that he disproves the narrative of stealing money and said his offer to repay the principal amount to the Indian banks was "not bogus".
"My settlement offer is made before the Karnataka High Court. It is not related to this extradition trial. Nobody disrespects a court of law by making a bogus offer. The assets have been attached by the ED so they cannot be bogus assets," he said, asserting that his offer to repay the principal amount was not bogus.
The embattled liquor tycoon said that the value of his assets is more than enough to pay everybody and that is exactly what he was focusing on. "I want to disprove the narrative that I have stolen (money)," he said.
Mallya has contested his extradition on the grounds that the case against him is "politically motivated" and the loans he has been accused of defrauding on were sought to keep his now-defunct airline afloat.
"I did not borrow a single rupee. The borrower was Kingfisher Airlines. Money was lost due to a genuine and sad business failure. Being held as guarantor is not fraud," he said in his most recent Twitter post on the issue.
"I have offered to repay 100 percent of the principal amount to them. Please take it," he had tweeted earlier.
(With PTI Inputs)