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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Vijay Mallya’s new challenge to extradition comes up in UK court tomorrow

Controversial businessman Vijay Mallya’s application against his extradition to India is due for an oral hearing in the administrative court of the England and Wales high court on Tuesday in one of the last legal avenues open to him.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2019 19:58 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
The Westminster Magistrates Court ruled in favour of Mallya’s extradition in December 2018. (File photo)
The Westminster Magistrates Court ruled in favour of Mallya’s extradition in December 2018. (File photo)(REUTERS)
         

Controversial businessman Vijay Mallya’s application to appeal against his extradition to India is due for an oral hearing in the administrative court of the England and Wales high court on Tuesday in one of the last legal avenues open to him.

Mallya’s written application was refused by Justice William Davis on April 5, prompting him to seek an oral hearing for permission to appeal against home secretary Sajid Javid’s February 4 order extraditing him to India to face allegations of major financial irregularities.

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which acts on behalf of the Indian government in UK courts, said: “The oral hearing on whether or not Vijay Mallya should be granted permission to appeal against extradition will be on 2 July at the High Court.”

“It is listed for one day. The judges will probably reserve their decision, but if the argument ends early enough they could give their decision the same day”.

The oral hearing will be held before Justice Leggatt and Justice Popplewell.

Legal experts say permission to appeal may be granted if new grounds or evidence not previously considered in lower courts are cited. The Westminster Magistrates Court ruled in favour of Mallya’s extradition in December 2018.

Further options before Mallya to block extradition may include approaching the Supreme Court, which usually grants permission to appeal only if a case involves a matter of public interest; approaching the European Court of Human Rights, which has jurisdiction over the UK until Brexit is completed; and submitting a ‘representation’ to the home secretary.

The recourse to ‘representation’ to prevent extradition on grounds possibly on new facts has been previously used by Tiger Hanif, who is wanted in India in connection with blasts in Surat in 1993. He lost all legal challenges in 2013, but has since made representations to the home secretary, who has not yet taken a decision.

Facing charges in India of financial irregularities amounting to over Rs 9,000 crore, Mallya has been putting forth his version of events through social media, repeatedly offering to repay all his loans and wondering why the banks are not taking up the offer.

In a series of recent tweets, Mallya used the Jet Airways financial crisis to plug his case, demanding that his assets placed before the Karnataka high court be used to pay off banks and his other creditors, adding: “It will help them to save Jet Airways if nothing else”.

Noting that banks were reportedly bailing out Jet Airways, Mallya said: “I invested 4000 crores into Kingfisher Airlines to save the Company and its employees. Not recognised and instead slammed in every possible way.”

“The same PSU Banks let India’s finest airline with the best employees and connectivity fail ruthlessly. Double standards under NDA”, he added.