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India Asks UK Court To Extradite Tycoon Vijay Mallya On Fraud Charges

Mark Summers, a British lawyer acting for India, told the court at the start of a two-week extradition hearing that it was entitled to conclude that he never intended to repay money borrowed by Kingfisher from IDBI in 2009

Photo Credit : PTI,

India asked a London court on Monday to extradite tycoon Vijay Mallya to face fraud charges of palming off losses from his failing Kingfisher Airlines onto a state-owned bank. Mallya denies any wrongdoing, and a court document showed his lawyers planned to argue that the case against him was politically motivated and aimed at quelling public anger in India over the accumulation of bad debts by state lenders.

Mallya, 61, has had business interests ranging from aviation to liquor. He is also the co-owner of the Formula One motor racing team Force India. Long-haired and bearded, Mallya arrived at Westminster Magistrates Court wearing a dark blue pin-striped suit and gold-rimmed dark glasses.

He was mobbed by a large crowd of Indian reporters on arrival, and again later when the building was briefly evacuated because of a fire alarm and he had to step outside. The case against Mallya centres on a series of loans Kingfisher obtained from Indian banks, and in particular from state-owned IDBI. Indian banks want to recover a total of about $1.4 billion that the Indian authorities say Kingfisher owes.

Mark Summers, a British lawyer acting for India, told the court at the start of a two-week extradition hearing that it was entitled to conclude that he never intended to repay money borrowed by Kingfisher from IDBI in 2009. "His company was in intensive care ... it was heading in only one direction," Summers said. "As it went down, it was going to sustain huge losses."


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