In a huge relief to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the Royal Court of Justice in London passed an order which allows the fugitive businessman to appeal against his extradition order to India. After the four-hour long hearing, the two-bench court granted relief to Mallya on ground that the applicant places the potential difficulty that it is not function of appellant court to repeat fact finding exercise undertaken by a lower court after hearing evidence.
The court also pointed out that the allegations against Mallya relates to loans given by IDBI of Rs 150 crore on 7 Oct 2009 and Rs 750 core which included Rs 200 crore in advance. The two-bench judges' court also said that that the crux of Indian government's request is that Mallya involved senior executives for defrauding banks with knowledge that airlines was in serious financial condition.
The court also pointed out money laundering by Mallya. However, the court rejected Mallya's argument that he will not get fair a trial in India.
Arguing the case, Mallya's counsel pointed out before the court that, "the banks were fully aware of his financial situation and the position in with KFA (Kingfisher Airlines) was in and knew the lending would be used for all sorts of things."
The lawyer also argued that the documents provided in favour of Vijay Mallya have not been considered properly.
Mallya's oral plea was heard at Courtroom 3. He was represented by lawyer Claire Montgomery and Anand Doobay who are also defending Nirav Modi.
Before heading inside the court, Mallya had told the media, "I have a case which will be represented. The family feels positive, they have gone through a lot. My only request to Indian Government is that I don't want any concession, money is there. You can take back 100 percent money."
Earlier, on April 5, the UK High Court had rejected a plea filed by Vijay Mallya against his extradition order. The Westminster Magistrates' Court had already ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya which was accepted by the UK Home Office.
The UK Home Office spokesperson on April 8, had said, "Mr Mallya's application for leave to appeal against extradition has been refused by the High Court. Mr Mallya may now renew his application to the court."
A Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai had branded Vijay Mallya as the first fugitive economic offender following an appeal filed by the Enforcement Directorate.
A case was registered against the Kingfisher Airlines Limited (KAL), its owner Vijay Mallya, chief financial officer of KAL A Raghunathan and some unidentified officials of IDBI on July 29, 2015.
It was alleged that the IDBI bank officials had sanctioned and disbursed loans to KAL despite its weak financial situation, negative net worth and below par credit rating in violation of IDBI's corporate loan policy.
An investigation by the Enforcement Directorate revealed that Vijay Mallya's KAL had fraudulently utilised significant portions of loan funds to service the existing debt. Substantial amounts were remitted outside India on the pretext of payment of lease, rentals, etc.
Vijay Mallya, the CEO of KAL fled from India to UK on March 2, 2016 after a look-out circular was diluted by the CBI.