After the UK government had ordered to extradite fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on charges of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, Mallya said he has initiated appeal process against the order which could lead another series of a legal tussle between the prosecution and the defense.
Mallya has 14 days from February 4 to apply for leave to appeal to the UK High Court. Although the defendant side, which has already lost the legal battle, has one more opportunity to fight for a reversal in Mallya's extradition case as the appeal will be heard in the high court.
According to the UK Extradition Act 2003, the person extradited can appeal for the reversal of the order if there is a risk of him or her to face a death penalty or the person can be tried for other crimes apart from the extradition offence.
However, the chances are unlikely for Mallya to win the battle based on the above riders, but the defendant can go ahead with their previous arguments such as violating his fundamental right, not having substantial evidence against what was mentioned in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.
Based on this, the appeal will be heard in the high court.
If the high court rejects the defendant's appeal, Mallya can still approach the UK Supreme Court within two weeks of the high court verdict. However, that is only possible if the high court says the case involves a “point of law of general public importance”.
If the verdict order, however, does mention the above, Mallya will be extradited as per the verdict and the previous order.
If Mallya does get the opportunity from the high court to file his appeal to the UK Supreme Court, it can take months before the appeal can be scheduled for hearing and weeks for the Supreme Court to pronounce its verdict.
After it pronounces its verdict, the case will again be heard in the Home Secretary’s court. If they order Mallya’s extradition, he will be extradited within 28 days. However, there are chances that the court can delay the extradition, which could can again lead to years.
UK home secretary Sajid Javid ordered Mallya's extradition and the UK government on Monday and said it awaits "early completion" of the legal process in the matter.
The new legal series, after the defendant files for the appeal, can be quick or it can prolong to another long case.
It took three years for the judgment against Mallya after he fled from India in 2016 as he was unable to repay the loans he claimed to have taken for the-now bankrupt Kingfisher Airlines.
If it does turn out to be another legal series, this could be a hit for the Narendra Modi government, especially ahead of the general elections which are due in May.
First Published: IST