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Vijay Mallya loses extradition appeal in UK

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Vijay Mallya loses extradition appeal in UK

What to study?

For Prelims: Who is a fugitive economic offender, about PMLA, ED and CBI.

For Mains: Significance of the latest ruling, impact and way ahead.

Context: A UK High Court has dismissed fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s appeal against extradition to India.

What’s the issue?

Mallya and his firm – Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, have come under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for loan defaults of over Rs 10,000 crore to a consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI).

While Mallya is facing charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy, money laundering and diversion of loan funds, a few of his companies including Kingfisher Airlines are facing charges of violations of the Companies Act 2013 and Sebi norms. Mallya, has denied any wrongdoing.

Charges against Mallya:

ED has charged Mallya under sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

CBI has charged Mallya under section 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and under sections 13 (1) (d) and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

What are the options for Vijay Mallya now?

  1. Mallya now has 14 days to apply to the UK High Court for permission for an application to certify that a point of law of general public importance has been overlooked by both the magistrate court and the high court.
  2. If the High Court gives such a permission, he can then appeal against the extradition order in the UK Supreme Court.
  3. In case the High Court refuses the permission, Mallya will not be able to appeal in the Supreme Court.
  4. In such a situation, his case will go to the UK secretary of state, Home Department for a final decision on extradition. If secretary gives her consent, Mallya can be extradited to India.

First person to be declared a fugitive offender:

Vijay Mallya is also the first person to be declared a fugitive offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Definition- Fugitive Economic Offender:

A person can be named an offender under this law if there is an arrest warrant against him or her for involvement in economic offences involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has fled from India to escape legal action.

The procedure:

  1. The investigating agencies have to file an application in a Special Court under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 containing details of the properties to be confiscated, and any information about the person’s whereabouts.
  2. The Special Court will issue a notice for the person to appear at a specified place and date at least six weeks from the issue of notice.
  3. Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears. If not the person would be declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender based on the evidence filed by the investigating agencies.
  4. The person who is declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender can challenge the proclamation in the High Court within 30 days of such declaration according to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who is a fugitive economic offender?
  2. Composition and powers of ED.
  3. Establishment and powers of CBI.
  4. What is PMLA?
  5. Overview of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance and key provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Sources: the Hindu.