Mallya Begins Appeals Process

Vijay Mallya (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images).     
Vijay Mallya (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images).     

BUSINESSMAN Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India over defaulting on bank loans, has filed an application in the UK High Court, seeking permission to appeal against an extradition order signed by the British home secretary.

Mallya, 63, the co-owner of the Formula One motor racing team Force India which went into administration in July, moved to England in March 2016.

He has denied any wrongdoing and says the case against him is politically motivated.

The businessman made the application in the Administrative Court division of the High Court yesterday (14), 10 days after home secretary Sajid Javid signed off on the extradition order triggering a 14-day window for Mallya’s appeal application.

“The application has been sent for a judge on papers decision, which is expected any time between two to four weeks,” a UK court representative said.

A “judge on papers” decision will involve a High Court judge determining the merits of the application and if it is accepted, the case will proceed to a “substantive hearing” in the next few months’ time.

If Mallya’s application is rejected at this stage, he can submit a “renewal form”.

The renewal process will lead to a 30-minute oral hearing when Mallya’s legal team and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – acting on behalf of the Indian government – will renew their respective claims for and against an appeal. The judge will then determine if it can proceed to a full hearing.

The process, to be heard in the Royal Courts of Justice in London, could take months as the listing of a hearing depends on the availability of judges, among other factors.

Following the outcome at the High Court level, both sides could apply for the right to appeal to the Supreme Court, which would involve at least another six weeks.

The former boss of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines took to Twitter again this week to call on India’s prime minister Narendra Modi to accept his settlement offer in relation to the airline’s loan default.

“I respectfully ask why the Prime Minister is not instructing his banks to take the money I have put on the table so he can at least claim credit for full recovery of public funds lent to Kingfisher,” Mallya said, adding that his offer to the Karnataka High Court in south India should not be dismissed as “frivolous” because it is a “perfectly tangible, sincere, honest and readily achievable offer”.

Mallya has been based in the UK since March 2016 and remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017.

In her verdict at the end of a year-long extradition trial in December last year, Judge Emma Arbuthnot had ruled that the “flashy” billionaire had a “case to answer” in the Indian courts.

The court had also dismissed any bars to extradition on the grounds of the prison conditions under which the businessman would be held, as the judge accepted the Indian government’s assurances that he would receive all necessary medical care at Barrack 12 in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail.