Fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya on Monday as a last ditch effort to prevent his extradition to India, filed an application in UK Supreme Court to prevent implementation of an earlier order that made his return to India imminent.
Earlier,the embattled liquor baron lost his High Court appeal in London on April 20 against his extradition order to India over charges of fraud and money laundering, involving his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, amounting to an alleged Rs 9,000 crores.
The Supreme Court of UK is expected to hear the matter later this week.
While the legal experts said that if the application is rejected by Supreme Court as well, then UK Home Secretary Priti Patel would have to sign on Mallya’s extradition papers within 28 days.
The 64-year-old businessman was given 14 days to file such application against the order of High Court and his appeal was filed on the last day of this period.
The high court had dismissed his appeal against a Westminster Magistrates’ Court extradition order certified by the UK Home Secretary. “We consider that while the scope of the prima facie case found by the SDJ [Senior District Judge] is in some respects wider than that alleged by the Respondent in India [Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED)], there is a prima facie case which, in seven important respects, coincides with the allegations in India,” the judges had ruled.
According to the experts, it is unlikely for Mallaya to get a reprieve from Supreme Court as it would only look as constitutional issues and may not tamper with high court’s order if other aspects are in order.
The Enforcement agencies in India who have waiting for a long time get hold of the fugitive businessman would be happy with the development. The ED has attached several properties of Mallya in the last few years under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Earlier, while reacting on the HC order, India’s premier investigating agency, Central Bureau of Investigation had said, “It is a significant achievement in continuing the war against economic fugitives who have been managing to stay away from judicial process in the country. It also validates the painstaking and meticulous investigation done by us.”
Mallya is being investigated by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the loan fraud case.
He was arrested by the UK authorities on April 20, 2017 on the request of the Indian investigative agencies.
Vijay Mallya is wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore.