The Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Monday is expected to pronounce its judgment in the extradition case of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya. The court is hearing the case on India’s request.
Before going for the hearing Mallya said “I have not stolen anyone’s money. My offer to return the loan amount of banks is not a bogus one.” He was responding to questions from the media persons in the court premises. “Extradition is entirely a different matter,” he said.
Mallya said that he has filed comprehensive settlement applications before the Karnataka High Court in the matter related to repaying of loans to the banks. “I have filed comprehensive settlement applications before the Karnataka High Court which coincidently going to be head today,” he said.
Mallya, who arrived at the Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London to hear the judgment in an extradition case, said that his legal team would review the judgment and take proper steps thereafter. “Whatever the judgment, my legal team will review the judgment and take proper steps thereafter,” he said.
“Yes, I have tweeted saying that I want to repay to bankers and others that have nothing to do with this extradition issue. It is a completely separate matter. My settlement matter is not related to the judgment which is going to be delivered today,” he added.
On December 6, Mallya reiterated his wish to repay banks completely in a bid to end the narrative of him having “stolen” money from various lenders. A day after Mallya requested banks to accept money from him, the 62-year-old, once again, refuted reports of any connection between his proposed settlement offer and the upcoming ruling in a UK court with regard to his request to block his extradition to India.
On Sunday, a joint team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) led by CBI Joint Director A Sai Manohar left for the United Kingdom (UK) for the court proceedings. Earlier, CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana was leading this case.
Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the ED on a plea filed by Mallya seeking a stay on the proceedings initiated by the ED to declare him a fugitive economic offender and confiscate his assets.
Mallya is facing money-laundering charges in the United Kingdom after India initiated extradition proceedings against him. Both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have filed several cases for alleged loan default against him. Mallya has been residing in the UK for the past two years.
Reacting on the development, the Congress party termed the proceedings as delayed and said that the authorities have woken up when Mallya is ready to pay all loans.
Congress leader Tom Vaddakan while speaking to ANI said, “The extradition proceedings should have started long back, the authorities have woken up when he (Vijay Mallya) is ready to pay back all the loans. The government had to state a reason about the parallel movement on Christen Michel so this is a countermeasure and the government is trying to say that they are trying this too,” Vaddakan added.
The Bhartiya Janata Party and the Janta Dal-United (JD(U)) termed this as a great development and welcomed the move by the investigation agencies.
BJP leader Zafar Islam, while speaking to ANI, said, “The matter is in the court. However, our government has left no stone unturned to extradite Mallya back to India. I hope he is extradited back soon. He will have to go through the trial according to the Indian laws as soon as he is brought back to India.”
JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said, “We welcome the investigation and efforts of the agencies (CBI and ED) after which have they have left no other choice for Mallya.”
(with ANI inputs)