Defaulter Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India is imminent.
It is a major step for the Indian government in its quest to get the fugitive liquor baron face trial in India. The United Kingdom Home secretary signed the documents clearing the way for extraditing Mallya to India. He has 14 days to appeal against this. India is sure to put in all efforts to ensure his appeal does not stand.
Vijay Mallya has been holed up in the United Kingdom since March 2016, in the aftermath of loan defaults arising out of a loss-making Kingfisher Airline (KFA) business, which he started in 2005. Although the KFA did good business in the initial two years, prompting Mallya to acquire Air Deccan, the KFA literally encountered mid-flight turbulence in 2008. The rise of oil prices and various operational cost issues led Kingfisher to get a debt of 934 crore rupees.
The debts mounted year after year. Meanwhile, in 2009, IDBI approved a loan of 900 crore rupees to the airline. Mallya became a Rajya Sabha member the next year, but this did not stop the banks from mounting pressure on him to pay back the entire loan amount.
Matters took a turn for the worse in 2011 when the licence of KFA was revoked. Thus the employees of KFA suffered due to stoppage of salary payments. As of March 2016, KFA owed an amount of 3000 crore rupees payable to 3000 employees.
The United Bank of India proclaimed Mallya as a wilful defaulter. Other banks followed its path. A consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India, relentlessly mounted pressure on Mallya to repay the loans.
Reports came that Mallya was diverting the loan amount meant for his now-defunct KFA into into shell companies located in seven countries including the UK and US.
In March 2016, Mallya fled India and took refuge in the United Kingdom. In February 2017, India, led by finance minister Arun Jaitley, requests UK to extradite Mallya. Although the Scotland Yard arrested Mallya, he got bail within hours.
In September 217, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) began preparing a strong chargesheet against him that would strengthen India’s case in the UK court of law. India relentlessly pursued the extradition case as Mallya fought against this In the law courts and lost.
This has been the rise and fall of the man of good times, Vijay Mallya.