Tycoon Mallya should be extradited to India, rules UK court

Indian Investigators have demanded Vijay Mallya, who defaulted on $1bn in bank loans, be brought back to face charges.

    Mallaya was first arrested by British police on behalf of the Indian authorities in April of last year [Alastair Grant/AP)
    Mallaya was first arrested by British police on behalf of the Indian authorities in April of last year [Alastair Grant/AP)

    Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya should be extradited from Britain to India to face fraud charges resulting from the collapse of his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, a London court ruled on Monday.

    India wants to bring criminal action against Mallya, 62, whose business interests have ranged from aviation to liquor, over $1.4bn in loans Kingfisher took out from Indian banks which the authorities argue he had no intention of repaying.

    Mallya, who co-owned the Formula One motor racing team Force India until it went into administration in July, has denied all wrongdoing and argued the case against him was politically motivated.

    He left India in March 2016 owing more than $1bn after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds.

    The loans from the state-owned IDBI bank were intended to bail out his failed carrier Kingfisher Airlines. 

    Mallaya was first arrested by British police on behalf of the Indian authorities in April of last year and has been on bail since. 

    In July, he made an "unconditional offer" to an Indian court in a bid to settle the charges, but denies that was an admission of guilt. 

    Since the extradition treaty between the United Kingdom and India became effective in 1993, several key figures have been sought by the government.

    There are currently five extradition requests pending in UK courts involving the following fugitives: Raymond Varley, Tiger Hanis, Nadeem Saifi, Ravi Sankaran, and Lalit Modi.

    In the past 26 years, the UK has extradited only one fugitive in 2016, Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, wanted for the 2002 Gujarat riot cases.

    SOURCE: News agencies