News and Society

Mallya The Defaulter

By Kanishka Arora
  • Apr 20, 2017

Vijay Mallya was living in Britain since March 2016, was arrested by Scotland yard on Tuesday on fraud allegation fraud allegations, triggering an official extradition process in the British courts.
"Extradition is the formal procedure for requesting the surrender of persons from one territory to another... Part 2 of the Extradition Act, in conjunction with any applicable extradition instrument, regulates export extradition from the United Kingdom to category 2 Territories.

He got the bail after a few hours after providing a bail bond worth 650,000 pounds and assuring the court of abiding by all conditions associated with extradition proceedings, such as the surrender of his passport and a ban on him possessing any travel documents.
On behalf of Indian authorities, The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will now argue the case.

"The Crown Prosecution Service, acting on behalf of the Indian authorities, will need to demonstrate a prima facie case ie. produce some evidence to show that the criminal charges against Mallya, for which his extradition is sought, are justified," said Javinder Nakhwal, partner at Peters and Peters Solicitors LLP and member of the UK's Extradition Lawyers Association.

"There are a number of grounds on which it is possible to contest extradition, some of which might not be relevant to Mallya's case. Mallya may seek to challenge extradition on the basis that the request for his extradition is politically motivated, and that any extradition would constitute a breach of certain human rights," she explained. The Indian authorities will have an opportunity to respond to any such evidence, she said.
Sarosh Zaiwalla, founder and senior partner of Zaiwalla & Co. Solicitors, also believes it will be a "long and strenuous" process which may not succeed at the end.

"This is because, the judge will have to be satisfied that Mallya will get a fair trial in India. His (Mallya's) lawyers will argue he is being politically hounded and is a victim of a media trial. He might also point out other Indian businessmen owe much more money to Indian banks, but his client has been singled out for persecution," Zaiwalla said.

He also highlighted that Mallya has the final option of approaching the European Court of Human Rights, at least until the UK completes its exit from the European Union (EU).
"It is going to be a complicated affair as Mallya can argue that he may not receive a fair trial in Indian courts which are notorious for being easily influenced," he said.

"They could also look at the option of legally challenging Mallya in British courts to subsequently bring him to trail in India. A worldwide freezing order on Mallya's assets would be an even more effective option than the extradition route," he said.

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