LONDON: Liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya once again asked the Indian banks to take back 100 per cent of the principal amount owed to them at the end of his three-day British High Court appeal on Thursday against an extradition order to India.
The 64-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss, wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to an alleged Rs 9,000 crores in unpaid bank loans, said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are fighting over the same assets and not treating him reasonably in the process.
“I request the banks with folded hands, take 100 per cent of your principal back, immediately,” he said outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
“The Enforcement Directorate attached the assets on the complaint by the banks that I was not paying them. I have not committed any offences under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) that the Enforcement Directorate should suo moto attach my assets," he said.
"I am saying, please banks take your money. The ED is saying no, we have a claim over these assets. So, the ED on the one side and the banks on the other are fighting over the same assets,” he added.
Asked about heading back to India, he noted: “I should be where my family is, where my interests are.
"If the CBI and the ED are going to be reasonable, it's a different story. What all they are doing to me for the last four years is totally unreasonable.”
Lord Justice Stephen Irwin and Justice Elisabeth Laing, the two-member bench presiding over the appeal, concluded hearing the arguments in the case and said they will be handing down their verdict at a later date after considering the oral as well as written submissions in the “very dense” case over the next few weeks.
On a day of heated arguments between Mallya's barrister, Clare Montgomery, and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) counsel Mark Summers, arguing on behalf of the Indian government, both sides clashed over the prima facie case of fraud and deception against Mallya.
“We submit that he lied to get the loans, then did something with the money he wasn't supposed to and then refused to give back the money. All this could be perceived by a jury as patently dishonest conduct,” said Summers.
“What they [Kingfisher Airlines] were saying [to the banks] about profitability going forward was knowingly wrong,” he said, as he took the High Court through evidence to counter Mallya's lawyers' claims that Westminster Magistrates Court Judge Emma Arbuthnot had fallen into error when she found a case to answer in the Indian courts against Mallya.
Mallya, who remains on bail on an extradition warrant, is not required to attend the hearings but has been in court to observe the proceedings since the three-day appeal opened on Tuesday. A key defence to disprove a prima facie case of fraud and misrepresentation on his part has revolved around the fact that Kingfisher Airlines was the victim of economic misfortune alongside other Indian airlines.
However, the CPS has argued that “there is enough in the 32,000 pages of overall evidence to fulfil the [extradition] treaty obligations that there is a case to answer”. “There is not just a prima facie case but overwhelming evidence of dishonesty… and given the volume and depth of evidence the District Judge [Arbuthnot] had before her, the judgment is comprehensive and detailed with tRead More – Source