London: Beleaguered industrialist Vijay Mallya must be extradited from the UK to India – where he is accused of committing bank frauds of Rs 9,000 crore, a London court ruled on Monday.
The CBI on Monday welcomed the court’s order saying it hopes to bring the 62-year-old businessman back soon and conclude the bank fraud case.
“We welcome the decision. We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. The CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on law and facts and we were confident while perusing the extradition process,” the spokesperson said.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled that Mallya can be extradited to India to stand trial on the charges brought by the CBI and ED. The judge referred the extradition case to Secretary of State. The ruling marked a significant point in the high-profile extradition trial that has lasted over a year.
The decision came six days after British national and middleman in the Rs 3,600 core AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Christian Michael, was extradited to India from Dubai.
Mallya has repeatedly denied fleeing from India and said he was ready to pay back the money he owed to Indian banks.
Proceedings are on before the Mumbai Special Court against Mallya under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
Late in 2017, India filed extradition proceedings against Mallya which he has contested. The former Kingfisher Airlines boss was on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year.
The judge ruled that Mallya would remain on same bail conditions. Earlier in the day, Mallya sought to disprove the narrative that he has “stolen” the money and said his offer to repay the principal amount to the Indian banks was “not bogus”. He was talking to reporters outside the court.
(With inputs from agencies)