India on Thursday handed over to the UK an extradition request for absconding businessman Vijay Mallya who is facing cases of loan default and other financial irregularities.
“Today (Thursday), we handed over the request for extradition of Vijay Vittal Mallya which we received from the CBI to the UK High Commission here. We have requested the UK side to extradite him to face trial in India,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Vikas Swarup said.
Asserting that India has a “legitimate” case against Mallya, he said if an extradition request is honoured, it shows their “sensitivity towards our concerns”. “We have made the extradition request in prescribed format and it is for the UK to deliberate on the request and take further action,” he added. Swarup also said India is yet to make an extradition request for former IPL Chairman Lalit Modi.
Last month, a CBI court had issued a nonbailable warrant against Mallya in the Rs 720crore IDBI Bank loan default case. Mallya, whose nowdefunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, had left India on March 2.
Earlier, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday ordered winding up of tycoon Vijay Mallyaowned United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd to recover dues of his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. Pronouncing the order, Justice Vineet Kothari directed the official liquidator to take possession of the holding company’s (UBHL) assets, including movable and immovable properties and its shares held in group companies, and recover the dues of creditors.
Among the creditors are a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to whom the airline and UBHL owe a whopping Rs. 9,091 crore, including compound interest. The debtridden airline, which grounded its operations in October 2012, also owes crores of dues to other creditors, aviation fuel suppliers and airport operators.
The judge also rejected an appeal by the UBHL to stay the order, which results in Mallya losing control over his properties, including shares in the group companies. The group companies are United Spirits Ltd, United Breweries Ltd, UB Engineering and UB Global.
The UBHL gave a corporate guarantee on behalf of the airline to all the creditors and lenders for funds and supplies to run its operations. “We will file an appeal against the combined order before the high court’s division bench, as the singlejudge bench verdict is on petitions filed jointly in 2012,” a UBHL counsel told reporters later.
Various lenders and creditors to the airline, including French bank BNP Paribas, aircraft engine makers Rolls Royce and International Aero Engines and staterun Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd filed also winding up petitions in January 2015 against the UBHL to recover their own outstanding amounts.
The winding up order comes weeks after the Bengaluru bench of the Debt Recovery Tribubal on January 19 ordered attachment and recovery of Mallya’s properties worth Rs 6,023 crore ($909 million) for unpaid loans Kingfisher borrowed from the consortium of 17 banks.
The flamboyant 61yearold Mallya is reported to be in Britain since he left India on March 2, 2016 after the consortium moved the tribunal in February last year to expedite the hearing on its debt recovery petition.
When beleaguered Mallya did not respond to the tribunal’s earlier directives, the consortium in June 2016 sought a recovery certificate from it to sell off his properties in lieu of the defaulted loans to his airline.
The SBI and staterun PNB had declared Mallya, the airline and its holding firm UBHL as “wilful defaulters” in 2015.
The following is a chronology of events, from the genesis of the airlines to its fall and the events that took place in the aftermath.
In February 2016, Mallya was asked by the board at United Spirits Limited to step down. In a plea to stop Mallya from escaping the country, a syndicate of banks approached the Supreme Court of India. Mallaya however, has already left the country, taking refuge near London. In Hyderabad, a special magistrate court issued a nonbailable arrest warrant (NBW) against Mallya for not appearing in court for a slew of pending cases.
In April 2016, the Enforcement Directorate approached a special court in Mumbai to issue another nonbailable arrest warrant under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. Reports surfaced alleging that Mallya had transferred $590 million abroad.