Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya has approached the Supreme Court, seeking its direction of stay on confiscation of all properties owned by him and his relatives. In his plea, he has stated that he wanted attachment of only those irregularities, which are related to Kingfisher Airlines. The top court listed for hearing on July 29.
Earlier, the UK High Court listed Vijay Mallya’s appeal against his extradition for a three-day hearing from February 11 next year. The 63-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss had won a reprieve earlier this month when a two-judge panel at the Royal Courts of Justice in London granted him permission to appeal against the extradition order of a lower court to face fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an alleged Rs 9,000 crores in India.
"The appeal hearing has been listed on 11 February 2020 with a time estimate of three days,” a UK High Court official said. At a hearing on July 2, Justices George Leggatt and Andrew Popplewell concluded that “arguments can be reasonably made” on some aspects of the prima facie case presented by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), on behalf of the Indian government.
The ruling on the basis of that material by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot in her extradition order of December 2018, which was signed off by UK home secretary Sajid Javid earlier this year, is therefore now set for a full appeal hearing in the higher court.
“By far the most substantial ground is that the senior District Judge was wrong to conclude that the government had established a prima facie case,” noted Judge Leggatt. Mallya’s counsel, Clare Montgomery, had successfully contested the basis on which Judge Arbuthnot had arrived at certain conclusions.
Meanwhile, the liquor tycoon remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017, involving a bail bond worth GBP 650,000 and other restrictions on his travel.
At the end of a year-long extradition trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last December, Judge Arbuthnot had found clear evidence of dispersal and misapplication of the loan funds and accepted a prima facie case of fraud and a conspiracy to launder money against Mallya, as presented by the CPS on behalf of the Indian government.