In a major development, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has approved the extradition of billionaire Vijay Mallya to India.
"On 3 February the secretary of state, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India. Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences," a UK Home Office spokesperson said.
The Westminster Magistrate Court earlier forwarded the extradition case to the home secretary on 10 December.
India had made a formal request to the UK government to extradite Mallya in February 2017 based on charges set out by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has long accused him of financial fraud.
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.— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) February 4, 2019
However Vijay Mallya is defiant and recently announced his intention to appeal.
"After decision was handed down on Dec, 10, 2018 by Westminster Magistrate Court, I stated my intention to appeal. I couldn't initiate appeal process before a decision by home secretary. Now I will initiate the appeal process," Vijay Mallya said in a tweet.
New Delhi is keen for Mallya's extradition and will eagerly await the outcome of his appeal.
Modi Government clears one more step to get Mallya extradited while Opposition rallies around the Saradha Scamsters.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 4, 2019
According to speculation, the Modi-led government are pushing for the billionaire's extradition just for "the votes."
— Republic (@republic) February 4, 2019
"We have taken note of the decision of the UK Home Secretary to sign on the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India. While we welcome the UK Government's decision in the matter, we await the early completion of the legal process for his extradition," a Ministry of External Affairs source said.
Indian businessman Vijay Mallya fled India on 2 March 2016 after defaulting on loans amounting to around $1.2 billion, which he borrowed for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.