London: It may be getting real hot, real soon for fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya in London with the British government approving his extradition to India on Monday. Being regarded as a major shot in the arm for the Indian government and investigative agencies, Mallya may well be running out of options. He, however, still has a few left.
UK government's approval for extradition may be a blow to Mallya who faces charges of committing a Rs 90,000 crore bank loan fraud. He, however, still has the right to file an appeal - an option that Mallaya said he would take soon after Monday's developments. What comes next, then, is an appeal against the extradition in a higher court - the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) which needs to be filed within 14 days from February 4.
SIAC is responsible for hearing appeals usually filed by people deported by UK Home Secretary citing reasons ranging from financial fraud and immigration row to threat to national security.
Once the appeal is officially filed, it could take several months for a decision to emerge. This is because the appeal would be heard based on the court's schedule and is likely to span over a considerable period of time for defence and prosecution to fully present their respective side.
Mallya, 63, left India on March 2 of 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.
(With IANS inputs)