Reacting to UK government’s decision to extradite him to India in the wake of Westminster Magistrates' Court order in this regard, fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya on Monday said he will initiate the appeal process.
In a major blow to Mallya, who is wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores, UK Home Secretary on Monday approved his extradition.
On December 10, 2018, Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, in its order, said that the 63-year-old business tycoon had been found to have a case to answer before the Indian courts.
The UK court also said it was satisfied with the various assurances provided by the Indian government, including a video of the jail cell, which had not only been recently redecorated but was also far larger than the minimum requirement threshold.
Under the Extradition Treaty procedures, the Chief Magistrate's verdict was sent to Home Secretary Sajid Javid because only he was authorised to order Mallya's extradition.
Javid, the UK's senior-most Pakistani-origin minister, had two months from that date to sign off on that order.
The UK Home Office confirmed on Monday that after considering all matters, Javid had signed Mallya's extradition order on Sunday.
"On February 3 the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India," a Home Office spokesperson said.
"Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences," the spokesperson added.
Mallya now has 14 days from February 4 to apply for leave to appeal to the UK High Court.
In a tweet, Mallya said he will initiate the appeal process against his extradition.
"After the decision was handed down on December 10,2018 by the Westminster Magistrates Court, I stated my intention to appeal. I could not initiate the appeal process before a decision by the Home Secretary. Now I will initiate the appeal process," he tweeted.
Mallya is currently on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017 after the Indian authorities brought fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores against the former Kingfisher Airlines boss.
(With PTI inputs)