Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya has decided to appeal against his extradition order to India by the UK Home Secretary. "After the decision was handed down on December 10, 2018 by the Westminster Magistrates Court, I stated my intention to appeal. I could not initiate the appeal process before a decision by the Home Secretary. Now I will initiate the appeal process," said Vijay Mallya. It means that the government will have to wait longer to get Mallya back to India because if the appeal gets accepted, it might take a few months more to get the final order.
According to the UK Home Office spokesperson, the Secretary of State "having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India" on February 3. However, Mallya still has fourteen days from the date of the order to appeal against his extradition before the High Court, something he has decided to do.
The decision has come two years after the Indian government handed over the extradition request to the British High Commission in Delhi. During the long-drawn trial, Mallya had also brought up the conditions of prisons in India.
After hearing the case, Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot said in her 74-page long judgment that the allegations in the extradition request of CBI constitute extraditable offences within the meaning of Extradition Act, 2003 of UK.
"After taking cognisance of offences, Special Judge, CBI Cases approved a request seeking Extradition of accused Vijay Mallya from United Kingdom, which was forwarded to the UK Authorities by MHA on February 9, 2017. The Extradition Request led to initiation of Extradition Process against the fugitive in April 2017," said an officer of CBI.
UK Home Secretary Savid Javid had received the case on December 10 last year. According to procedure, if he had not made a decision in two months - that is expiring this week, Mallya could have applied to be discharged.
"We have taken note of the decision of the UK Home Secretary to sign on the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India. While we welcome the UK Government's decision in the matter, we await the early completion of the legal process for his extradition," said a top government source.
Meanwhile, the liquor baron, in a series of tweets claimed that properties worth more than Rs 13,000 crore have been attached for the recovery of Rs 9,000 crore. "Every morning I wake up to yet another attachment by the DRT recovery officer. Value already crossed 13,000 crores. Banks claim dues including all interest of 9,000 crores which is subject to review. How far will this go and well beyond? Justified?," tweeted Mallya.