The extradition of Vijay Mallya, accused of conspiracy to defraud banks and money laundering offences, has been approved by UK Home Secretary, the British government said on Monday, in a major blow to the liquor baron and boosting India's efforts to bring back the fugitive businessman.
Mallya left India in 2016 owing more than US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion) after defaulting on loan payments to a state-owned bank and allegedly misusing the funds.
"On February 3, the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India".
If Mallya goes ahead with an appeal to the high court, it will hear both his appeals against the secretary's order as well as the decision of the magistrate to send his case to the secretary in the first place.
She referred the case to the Home Secretary to decide whether Mr Mallya should be extradited to India to face the allegations against him.
Vijay Mallya was facing charges of fraud, money laundering and violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Accused by the Indian government of fleeing to the United Kingdom in order to avoid arrest over an estimated £1bn of debts linked to Kingfisher Airlines, which subsequently collapsed, the Force India co-owner, who was first arrested in April 2017, was subsequently re-arrested that October accused of using the F1 team for the goal of money laundering.
Earlier, the Westminster Magistrates' Court had ordered Vijay Mallya's extradition on December 9, 2018.
In two more tweets, he further added, "And despite all the attachments in India, Banks have given an open licence to their Lawyers in England to pursue multiple frivolous litigations against me". I could not initiate the appeal process before a decision by the Home Secretary. This is the jail where Mallya will be spending his time after extradition to India.
Reacting to the approval of Mallya's extradition, government sources welcomed the order and are awaiting "early completion" of the legal process involved in the process. It is not uncommon for a higher court to give leave to appeal and then to overturn the verdict of a lower court.