Vijay Mallya loses appeal, may be back in 28 days

Ghughuti Bulletin

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/vijay-mallya-loses-appeal-against-extradition-in-uk-high-court-may-try-to-move-apex-court/articleshow/75259301.cms

LONDON: Beleaguered liquor baron
Vijay Mallya, who lost his appeal against extradition in the
London high court and could be extradited to India within a couple of months, told TOI late on Monday that he was “naturally disappointed” he had lost his appeal.

“I will continue to pursue further legal remedies as advised by my lawyers. I am also disappointed with the media narrative which states that I must face trial in India for a fraud of Rs 9,000 crores. I have repeatedly offered to repay the banks in full but, sadly, to no avail,” Mallya said.

Mallya, who spends his time between his multi-million-pound terraced mansion in London and a sprawling estate in Hertfordshire once owned by F1 racing driver
Lewis Hamilton’s father, could still appeal the high court decision on a legal point in the Supreme Court. He has 14 days to do that.

To appeal, he must ask the high court to certify a point of law of public importance and apply for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court at the high court. If they do certify but refuse permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, he has 14 days from that date to appeal to the Supreme Court.

A decision on whether to certify a point of law normally happens relatively quickly, though it could be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. If the high court does not certify a point of law, then the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction and he must be extradited within 28 days.

An application for permission to appeal at the Supreme Court is likely to take three to four months. If granted, an appeal hearing there would take around a year. If Mallya does not appeal, he must be extradited to India within 28 days after the deadline for appealing has passed. He can also appeal to the
European Court of Human Rights at any time.

“The allegations against me and others are specifically and only related to three tranches of borrowing from IDBI Bank for a total of Rs 900 crores in 2009,” Mallya told TOI. “This loan was subsumed along with loans from other banks within the Master Debt Recast Agreement of 2010. Following the DRT order for the payment of approximately Rs 5,000 crores by way of principal and Rs 1,200 crores by way of unapplied interest making a total of Rs 6,200 crores, the banks have already recovered in cash a sum of Rs 2,500 crores which is 50% of the principal amount,” he added.

Handing down their
judgment in the administrative court of the high court remotely on Monday, Lord Justice Irwin and Justice Elizabeth Laing said, “In our judgment, the senior district judge was entitled to find that there was a prima facie case of fraud by false representation and of conspiracy to defraud. Thus there is also a prima facie case of money laundering. It is clear beyond any doubt that the senior district judge directed herself properly. It is clear she had the criminal burden and standard in mind when she considered whether there was a prima facie case.”

The judges found that the loans were disbursed as the result of a conspiracy, despite Kingfisher Airline’s weak financials, negative net worth and low credit rating, and despite not meeting IDBI’s corporate loans policy. They found that Mallya made false representations with respect to equity infusions, he offered “symbolic” and “grossly inadequate security”, he gave an exaggerated brand value of his airline and misleading forecasts, and that his dishonest intention not to repay the loans is shown by his later conduct.

Mallya’s case was that senior district judge
Emma Arbuthnot, who had described Mallya as a “flashy ostensibly billionaire playboy who charmed and cajoled bankers” was wrong to conclude that the Indian
government had established a prima facie case against him in her judgment on December 10, 2018 at the
Westminster magistrates’ court.

The judges commented that whilst some of Montgomery’s comments were “jury points for an eventual trial”, none of them “delivers a knockout blow to the prima facie case which the senior district judge found. Her approach to the evidence, was if anything more exacting than was required… In practice, she imposed a more demanding test on the government of India than she was required to.”

Extradition barrister Toby Cadman said: “He faces a significant hurdle in getting his case to the Supreme Court as the threshold is high and is often not met. He could also seek to suspend the removal process due to the coronavirus. It is almost certain he will put in an application to appeal, if nothing else to delay the inevitable.”

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