Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya is one step closer to extradition with the United Kingdom Home Secretary on Monday giving the go-ahead to have him sent to India.
With the Home Secretary formally signing the extradition order, Mallya can now begin his appeal process in the higher courts of the UK.
Persons familiar with the development stated that Mallya will has two weeks within which he must file his appeal in the higher court. Mallya had claimed last month that he would appeal against the lower court’s extradition order.
Reacting to the development Union minister Arun Jaitley tweeted, “Modi Government clears one more step to get Mallya extradited while Opposition rallies around the Saradha Scamsters."
Senior central government officials added, “We had won the initial battle in the lower court and we are very sure that the higher courts will deliver the same verdict."
Officially, the Indian government did not comment on Mallya’s extradition order.
A person familiar with the matter, however, said that New Delhi had taken “note" of “the decision of the UK Home Secretary to sign on the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India."
The Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on 10 December 2018 had ordered Mallya’s extradition to India. The verdict is a breakthrough in the case for India’s investigation agencies, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which have charged Mallya with defrauding loans of up to ₹ 9,000 crore.
“The conduct would constitute the offences of making false representations to make a gain for himself, conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. The conduct is punishable in India by imprisonment longer than 12 months," the chief magistrate said while delivering the verdict.
Union minister Arun Jaitley tweeted that the “Modi Government clears one more step to get Mallya extradited while Opposition rallies around the Saradha Scamsters."
*Elizabeth Roche contributed to the story.