National

Mallya extradition case order may get delayed

Vijay Mallya. File

Vijay Mallya. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

‘It is possible that COVID-19 may cause some delay in the announcement of verdict,” says an official.

The verdict in the extradition case against fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya by a United Kingdom court may get delayed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 4,300 lives and infected about 42,000 people there.

In February, the court heard Mr. Mallya’s appeal against the Westminster Magistrates Court’s clearance of his extradition in connection with the cases instituted by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

A joint team of officials from both the agencies was in the U.K. to assist the prosecution. “After the hearing was over, the court reserved the order. It is possible that the COVID-19 pandemic may cause some delay in the announcement of verdict,” said an official.

In December 2018, the Westminster Magistrates Court approved Mr. Mallya’s extradition after going through the evidence furnished by the enforcement agencies and the submissions made by him.

In April 2019, a High Court turned down the businessman’s plea for leave to appeal against the order. However, in July last, it found merit and allowed the application.

The Hindu explains: The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017

In India, on the ED’s request, Mr. Mallya was earlier declared a fugitive economic offender by a MUMBAI special court. He had flown out of India on March 2, 2016, and about a year later, was arrested in London following an extradition request based on the CBI case.

Mr. Mallya was released on bail and arrested the second time in October 2017 in connection with the money laundering case. He is currently out on bail.

Nirav Modi case

In the Rs.13,578-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case against diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who is currently in judicial custody in the U.K., the agencies are hopeful that the hearing on the extradition request will be held in May as scheduled. “We have furnished all the necessary documents and the case is being pursued pro-actively,” said another official.

Mr. Modi has also been declared a fugitive economic offender by a Mumbai special court. Several assets linked to him were recently auctioned on the ED's behalf and it fetched over Rs.51 crore.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 10:29:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mallya-extradition-case-order-may-get-delayed/article31259507.ece

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