New Delhi: Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday hailed the London’s courts order on extradition of Vijay Mallya and termed the development as a victory of the Central Government’s commitment to fighting corruption.
The Westminster Magistrates Court’s Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot ordered the extradition of Mallya after finding merit in the charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering registered against him in India.
Mallya is wanted in India for alleged loan default to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore for the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The 62-year-old has the option of moving higher courts against the decision. The CBI and the ED will have 14 days to file an appeal.
He said, “This is a very proud day for the country. The decision of London’s court concerning Vijay Mallya’s extradition showcases the commitment of government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has made it clear that if anyone would flee India after doing corruption or taking bank’s money, the government won’t leave him and every attempt will be made to bring them to the country under the legal framework.”
Hailing it as a victory of courage, commitment and rule of law, he added, “The way in which despite Vijay Mallya’s different arguments, the Indian law enforcement agencies put forward different evidences, replied to baseless facts, clearly shows that Indian government is completely committed to acting against such people.”
He also used the opportunity to launch an attack on the former UPA government and said, “We should never forget that entire loan to Vijay Mallya as well as its restructuring was done during UPA government’s period. As PM Modi has already remarked during a parliamentary discussion that between 2008 to 2014, there was a phone banking system prevalent when pressure would be made from Delhi through a call to give more loans or to restructure it.”
He also outlined that such entities were encouraged in the past regime and said, “Just a week before they were defeated on 26th May 2014, many diamond businesspersons were given new facilities, new policies were framed, despite the government not having such powers during that period. Such entities were encouraged and provided help.
However today it is a big victory for which we would thank the investigating agencies.”
Prasad also asserted that the extradition of Christian Michel and Vijay Mallya clearly indicate that the Central Government will not bow down in its fight against corruption and no fugitives would be allowed to stay away from clutches of law.