As a UK court ordered Vijay Mallya’ esxtradition back to India, the judge who delivered the verdict took the opportunity to tell Mallya’s legal team what she really thought of his lifestyle as well as the attitude of the banks in their failure to “abide by their own rules” to lend money.
Refusing to accept that the fraud cases slapped against Mallya were politically motivated, judge Emma Arbuthnot trashed Mallya’s legal team’s claims and she called him a “glamorous, flashy playboy” who defrauded banks.
The court concluded that the “flashy billionaire” does have a case to answer in the Indian courts over substantial “misrepresentations” of his financial dealings, in a major boost to India’s efforts to bring back the businessman wanted for alleged bank fraud and money laundering amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore.
“Having considered the evidence as a whole, there is a case to answer There is clear evidence of dispersal and misapplication of the loan funds and I find a prima facie case that Mallya was involved in a conspiracy to launder money,” Judge Arbuthnot concluded.
“There was no evidence which allowed me to find that if extradited Mallya was at real risk of suffering a flagrant denial of justice,” she said, adding that she is sending the case to the Home Secretary of State for a decision to be taken on whether to order his extradition.
Under India’s extradition treaty with the UK, the sign off on the extradition order is made by the UK home secretary, in this case senior British Pakistani minister Sajid Javid, who has two months to formally order the extradition.
Meanwhile, Mallya has the right to lodge an appeal in the UK High Court against the Chief Magistrate’s order but that appeal would only be addressed once Javid has made his decision on the extradition order, until which time Mallya remains on the same bail conditions as before.
“I am disappointed that the judge felt I made misrepresentations to IDBI bank and persuaded them to loan money to Kingfisher Airlines. Be that as it may, the judge is perfectly entitled to make whatever judgment she thought fit. I have my rights,” Mallya told reporters after the verdict.