13 Sep 2018
The ruling on whether Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya can be extradited from Britain to India to face fraud charges will be given on Dec. 10, a London judge said on Wednesday, after she heard closing submissions in the case.
India wants to extradite 62-year-old Indian businessman from Britain to face criminal action relating to loans taken out by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines and Indian authorities want to recover about $1.4 billion (1.1 billion pounds) they say Kingfisher owes.
His lawyer, Clare Montgomery, told London’s Westminster Magistrates Court that the Indian government had failed to provide any substantial evidence to justify extraditing him.
The Indian government says Kingfisher took out a series of loans from Indian banks, in particular the state-owned IDBI, with the aim of palming off huge losses which Mallya knew the failing airline was going to sustain.
It argues Mallya, who moved to Britain in March 2016, had no intention of repaying money it borrowed from IDBI in 2009 and the loans had been taken out under false pretences, on the basis of misleading securities and with the money spent differently to how the bank had been told.
Mallya told media outside of court that he had met Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to settle matters before he left the country. Jaitley denied a settlement had been reached in a Facebook post, saying he had declined to hold an audience with Mallya by telling him there was “no point talking to me”.
Montgomery said the evidence she and the Indian government had provided showed Kingfisher (KFA) had been clear about what the loans were for – to secure the airline’s viable future – and that it had been open about its losses.
“Full and complete and accurate information was provided and I can demonstrate that,” Montgomery said, saying suggestions that there was a “secret package of knowledge” about Kingfisher’s financial position which was not provided to IDBI were “utterly unfounded”.
By Michael Holden, Reuters, 12 September 2018.
Link to Reuters.
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