Bringing fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India before the upcoming General Elections can prove to be a big boost to the Modi-led BJP's poll campaign. However, Mallya's extradition is not likely to happen anytime soon, let alone the General Elections.
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya's extradition to India was approved by the UK Home Secretary two years after the government sent in the request to the British High Commission in Delhi. However, judiciary constraints will delay the entire process.
To begin with, Mallya has decided to appeal against the extradition order signed by UK Home Secretary Savid Javid. "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," he said.
The court that passed on the judgment of Mallya's extradition was the Magistrates' Court. He still has three more courts to appeal to before exhausting his options. The next court is the Crown Court from where it will lead to the Queen's Bench of High Court of Justice. The last door Mallya could knock is of the Supreme Court of UK.
Additionally, there's also a process of review that can be filed against the UK Supreme Court's decision.
Not only that, the Crown Court takes an average of 175 days to deliver a judgment, which is more than five months. The General Elections, on the other hand, are scheduled to take place in April-May this year.
According to the UK Home Office spokesperson, the Secretary of State "on February 3, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India". However, Mallya still has fourteen days from the date of the order - February 3 - to appeal against his extradition before the High Court, something he has decided to undergo.
"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.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)