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Great day for India, no one who cheats India will go scot-free, says Arun Jaitley on Vijay Mallya's extradition order

New Delhi: Hailing the UK court order on Vijay Mallya's extradition, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that the alleged offender, who benefited during the UPA rule, is being brought to the book by the NDA government.

A UK court has ordered Mallya's extradition, in a major boost to India's efforts to bring back the fugitive wanted for loan default worth Rs 9,000 crore.

Delivering the verdict, Westminster Magistrates' Court chief magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot said that there was "no sign of a false case being mounted against him".

 Great day for India, no one who cheats India will go scot-free, says Arun Jaitley on Vijay Mallyas extradition order

File image of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Reuters

"Great day for India. No one who cheats India will go scot free. The judgement of UK's court is welcome. An offender benefited during the UPA. The NDA brings him to book," Jaitley said in a tweet.

Mallya, who fled to the UK in March 2016, is wanted in India over default of Rs 9,000 crore that was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) by several banks.

The 62-year-old former KFA boss had been on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year. He has contested his extradition on the grounds that the case against him is "politically motivated" and the loans he has been accused of defrauding on were sought to keep his now-defunct airline afloat

"I did not borrow a single rupee. The borrower was Kingfisher Airlines. Money was lost due to a genuine and sad business failure. Being held as guarantor is not fraud," he said in his recent Twitter post on the issue

"I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount to them. Please take it," the flamboyant businessman tweeted earlier

While dismissing that his intervention has anything to do with the extradition case, it came just days before Judge Emma Arbuthnot is expected to present her ruling in the case

The trial, which opened at the Magistrates' Court on 4 December last year, has gone through a series of hearings beyond the initial seven days earmarked for it

It opened with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) team, led by Mark Summers, laying out the Indian government's prima facie case of fraud and money laundering against Mallya

Summers sought to establish a "blueprint of dishonesty" against the businessman and that there are no bars to his extradition on human rights grounds

Mallya's defence team, led by Clare Montgomery, deposed a series of experts in an attempt to prove that the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines' alleged default of bank loans was the result of business failure rather than "dishonest" and "fraudulent" activity by its owner

The court was also told that a consortium of Indian banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), rejected an offer by the liquor baron in early 2016 to pay back nearly 80 per cent of the principal loan amount owed to them

While the CPS argued that Mallya never intended to repay the loans he sought in the first place because his airline's demise was inevitable, the defence tried to establish that Kingfisher Airlines was suffering from consequences of a wider global financial crisis around 2009-2010 and that its failure was a result of factors beyond the company's control

 

Mallya on Wednesday took to social media with an offer to pay back 100 percent of "public money" to various Indian banks and urged the government to accept his offer, days ahead of a UK court's decision on his plea not to extradite him to India.

"The most important point is public money and I am offering to pay 100 per cent back. I humbly request the banks and government to take it. If payback refused, why," he questioned in one of his posts on Twitter.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2018 19:21:32 IST