Liquor baron Vijay Mallya appeared in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London which commenced the final hearing of India’s extradition request for him against charges of fraud and money laundering filed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.
The final round of hearing that can extend till December 14, will decide if he will be forced back to face trial in India for defaulting on loans to the tune of Rs 9,000-crore taken from 17 banks here.
The ED case alleges that Kingfisher Airlines diverted to shell companies abroad Rs 417-crore loan, which was meant for the airline, and was taken from IDBI Bank. The ED alleged that Mallya had laundered a total of Rs 1,300 crore through 13 shell companies.
The 61-year-old tycoon fled to UK in March last year to evade trial and had not consented to extradition
Mallya has however refuted all the allegations adding that money laundering charges against him were false and he has evidence to back up his claim.
During one of the hearings of Mallya’s case, the London court had raised concerns regarding alleged human rights violation in Indian prisons.
The Indian government responded with an assurance that the tycoon will not face any threat to his life in case he is extradited and lodged in Arthur Road jail of Mumbai.