UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India, in a major blow to the embattled liquor baron. The 63-year-old businessman had lost a legal challenge against his extradition in a British court in December. Under the Extradition Treaty procedures, the Chief Magistrate's verdict was sent to the Home Secretary because only he is authorised to order Mallya's extradition.Â Mallya is on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017 after the Indian authorities brought fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores against the former Kingfisher Airlines boss.Â
Â The UK court had said it was satisfied with the various assurances provided by the Indian government, including a video of the jail cell, which had not only been recently redecorated but was also far larger than the minimum requirement threshold. Javid, the UK's senior-most Pakistani-origin minister, had two months from that date to sign off on that order.
UK Home Office confirmed on Monday that after considering all matters, the minister had signed Mallya's extradition order on Sunday.
"On February 3 the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India," a Home Office spokesperson said. "Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences," the spokesperson added.
Reacting to the news, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley tweeted: "Modi Government clears one more step to get Mallya extradited while Opposition rallies around the Saradha Scamsters."
Modi Government clears one more step to get Mallya extradited while Opposition rallies around the Saradha Scamsters.â€” Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 4, 2019
Mallya is on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017 after the Indian authorities brought fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores against the former Kingfisher Airlines boss.
He now has 14 days from February 4 to apply for leave to appeal to the UK High Court.
The former Kingfisher Airlines' boss has earlier indicated that he intends to file an application to appeal against the Westminster Magistrates' Court verdict in favour of his extradition to India.
The businessman had told reporters soon after the ruling by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot in London in December 2018 that he would consider the verdict in detail and decide his next course of action. His legal team later confirmed that he will seek leave to appeal against the court order.
"Dr Mallya has now been able to consider the court's decision and intends to file an application for permission to appeal at the appropriate time," said Anand Doobay, Partner at UK-based Boutique Law LLP, who has been Mallya's solicitor through the extradition process.