London: The UK Home Office confirmed on Tuesday the receipt of the Westminster Magistrates' Court verdict in favour of Vijay Mallya's extradition to India.
After Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled that the "flashy" liquor baron had a "case to answer" in the Indian courts on allegations of fraud and money laundering amounting to nearly Rs 9,000 crores, the decision now lies with Home Secretary Sajid Javid to formally order the extradition.
Javid, the senior-most British-Pakistani minister in the UK Cabinet, has two months to make that decision but the extradition process itself would take longer if the entire appeals process is taken into account.
The UK Home Office said it has received the Westminster Magistrates' Court verdict for Mallya's extradition to India.
"If after considering the case, the Home Secretary thinks extradition should go ahead he has to order the extradition within two months of the date the matter was referred to him," said a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which argued on behalf of the Indian government.
"Whatever that decision, the losing side has up to 14 days within which to approach the High Court and seek leave to appeal," the spokesperson said.
Mallya told reporters outside the courtroom after Monday's verdict that he will consider all his "options" and decide the process ahead.
"Dr Mallya will be carefully considering the court's judgment and, therefore, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this time," said Anand Doobay, Partner at UK-based Boutique Law LLP, who has been Mallya's solicitor through the extradition process.
Monday's verdict marked a major turning point in the case, which dates back to the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines defaulting on loans sought from a series of state-owned Indian banks.
The CPS argued that these loans were sought by Mallya with fraudulent intentions, who then misused the funds. The Chief Magistrate found there was "clear evidence of dispersal and misapplication of the loan funds" as she ruled there was a case of fraud and a conspiracy to money laundering against Mallya.
The judge also dismissed any bars to extradition on the grounds of the prison conditions under which the 62-year-old businessman would be held, as she accepted the Indian government's assurances that he would receive all necessary medical care at Barrack 12 in Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail.
She also made specific note of Mallya's decision not to give direct evidence in the case, which left some of the meetings he had with bankers unexplained.
The ruling this week completes the first stage of the extradition process, which began in April last year with Mallya's arrest on an extradition warrant. He remains on the same bail conditions until the case moves on to an expected appeal stage....