Vijay Mallya, the well known King of Good Times is back on our television screens and newspapers. The United Kingdom Home Secretary ordered the extradition of the businessman on Febuary 4, 2019. He is wanted in India for allegedly laundering Rs 9,000 crores that he took as loan from different banks.
The whole story of Mallya and money laundering started when he took loans from different banks to save his sinking “Kingfisher Airlines”. He took a loan of about Rs 9,000 crores in a period of 10 years and was announced to be a fugitive economic offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. Kingfisher Airlines started going down slope since the day Mallya acquired a majority share in the Air Deccan. His debts started mounting up and in 2009, Kingfisher owed Rs 5,665 crores, which mounted up to a bigger sum of Rs 7,000 crore by the end of the financial year. The IDBI, on the basis of Kingfisher’s popularity agreed to give a loan of Rs 900 crore to the airlines. He continued taking loans to save the airlines but nothing worked and finally in 2014, he was declared to be a “willful defaulter” by the United Bank of India. Soon the government intervened but swiftly Mallya fled the country and took refuge near London.
Mallya was seen active on twitter and the Enforcement Directorate has been continuously trying to get hold of him but tweets like these only makes him seem more of a culprit.
According to a report by Economic Times, “In its investigations, ED concluded that Mallya did not have the intention to pay loans taken by him as debt was being added to loss making Kingfisher Airlines and he, with United Breweries Holdings (UBHL), also challenged invocation of personal guarantee on loans given by the two in the Bombay High Court.” This invalidates Mallya’s tweets. He even targeted the government indirectly now that he is being caught hold of in the most legal way possible.
Mallya has been using the Lok Sabha elections to strengthen his grounds on not being as guilty as he is being showcased. He put forward his argument by presenting himself as a scapegoat being used by the Indian banks. This indeed can be seen as a political move by the government with the 2019 elections just on the edge. But this is not it, even though we can say that UK has finally approved of his extradition, there I still space for a lot of procedural delays before Mallya actually comes back to India. In his most recent tweet, he mentioned :
“After the decision was handed down on December 10,2018 by the Westminster Magistrates Court, I stated my intention to appeal. I could not initiate the appeal process before a decision by the Home Secretary. Now I will initiate the appeal process.”
He clearly intends to appeal before the High court on the basis of the arguments that his human right might be violated because the Indian jails are not safe. The well known playboy and the money laundering expert is trying to do his best to get away with his deeds and the money. In conclusion, even if the UK Home Secretary has approved the extradition, there is still a lot of fight left to restore money in the banks and Mallya to his right space so that the Indian banks can finally take a sigh of relief and head towards the good times.
Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu, HT, The Week
Image Credits- Financial Times, Asianet Newsable, Hindustan Times, Vijay Mallya’s Twitter Feed