On 12th September 2018, Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot, the Chief Magistrate, heard closing submissions in Dr Vijay Mallya’s extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The Indian authorities have requested the extradition of Dr Mallya to face criminal charges in relation to allegedly fraudulent loan applications that he made on behalf of his, company Kingfisher Airlines.
The Indian authorities allege that Dr Mallya obtained a series of loans, on behalf of Kingfisher Airlines, from Indian banks, including the Punjab National Bank and the state-owned IDBI bank, with the aim of avoiding the huge losses which Dr Mallya knew his failing airline was going to sustain. The Indian authorities insist that Kingfisher Airlines had no intention of repaying the money it borrowed. It is alleged that the loans had been taken out under false pretences, on the basis of misleading securities and that the money was not spent for the purposes stated in the loan applications.
In response, Dr Mallya contended at his extradition hearing that the Indian authorities had failed to provide any substantial evidence to justify his extradition. It was also argued in Dr Mallya’s defence that the evidence that the Indian authorities had provided to the court demonstrated that Kingfisher Airlines had been clear about the fact that the loans were taken out in order to secure the airline’s viability in the future, and that it had been open about its losses. It was also argued that the Indian authorities had relied on evidence from people who were not involved at the time that the loans were granted, and that there was no evidence that any false statements had been made by Kingfisher Airlines in order to obtain the loans.
The final decision in the case is expected to be handed down on 10th December 2018.