Less than two months after a UK court ordered fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India, British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has signed the order for completing the process. India was quick to “welcome” the decision, with government sources saying that they “await” the early completion of the legal process. Mallya said he would appeal against the order — he has 14 days to do so.
A UK Home Office spokesperson confirmed that the minister had signed Mallya’s extradition order on Sunday. Javid had to make a decision within two months of the day the case was sent to him.
“On February 3, the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India. Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences,” the spokesperson said.
While there was no official response from the Ministry of External Affairs, government sources said: “We have taken note of the decision of the UK Home Secretary to sign on the order for Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India. While we welcome the UK government’s decision in the matter, we await the early completion of the legal process for his extradition.”
Mallya posted on Twitter: “After the decision was handed down on December 10,2018 by the Westminster Magistrates Court, I stated my intention to appeal. I could not initiate the appeal process before a decision by the Home Secretary. Now I will initiate the appeal process.”
Union Minister Arun Jaitley, who is in the US for treatment, tweeted: “Modi Government clears one more step to get Mallya extradited while Opposition rallies around the Saradha Scamsters.”
On December 9, the Westminster Magistrate’s Court had ordered Mallya’s extradition to stand trial on charges brought by the CBI and ED. The 62-year-old, owner of the defunct Kingfisher Airlines, is wanted for wilful default of over Rs 9,000 crore loans from Indian banks.