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       Grounds to regard Mallya fugitive: UK court
 
         Posted on :10:01:59 May 10, 2018
   
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       Last edited on:12:26:50 May 10, 2018
         Tags: Vijay Mallya, fugitive, UK court
 

LONDON: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs. 9,000 crore, can be regarded as a “fugitive from justice”, the UK High Court has concluded.

Judge Andrew Henshaw, who upheld a worldwide freeze order and ruled in favour of 13 Indian state-owned banks to recover funds amounting to nearly 1.145 billion pounds in a judgment yesterday, took note of the fact that the 62-year-old businessman is contesting his extradition to India relating to “alleged financial misconduct.”

“In all these circumstances, and even taking account of the fact that Mallya is contesting the alleged grounds for extradition, there are grounds for regarding Mallya as a fugitive from justice,” the judge said as part of his ruling.

The High Court remained unconvinced by Mallya’s claim that he has been a non-resident Indian (NRI) since 1988 and has lived in England since 1992, a country where he has indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

“The evidence indicates that prior to March 2016 Mallya travelled fairly regularly between India and England for business and political reasons. Most of his business interests were in or closely connected with India, most notably United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines…Whilst Mallya has indefinite leave to stay in the UK, he is said to be a non-resident taxpayer,” the court observed.

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