Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is facing extradition proceedings in UK, was seen attending the India’s match against Australia at the Kennington Oval in London on Sunday.
Mallya, who has been declared a fugitive economic offender in India, was curt in response to questions posed by reporters outside the stadium. “I am here to watch the match,” he said. When asked about the extradition case, he said preparations are underway for the next hearing scheduled in July.
The UK home office and the Westminster Court had last year ordered his extradition to India over charges of money laundering, fraud and conspiracy after he failed to convince authorities there that he has been made a victim of political intrigue.
Mallya has repeatedly argued that he has the assets to pay off his "debts but the government won't allow the use of these assets to clear the debts."
He had fought extradition on the grounds that Indian jails weren’t safe and that he was being made a scapegoat for India’s banks being stuck with massive bad loans given to companies.
Mallya is on the hook for Rs 9,000 crore, according to Indian banks, on account of unpaid loans by Kingfisher Airlines, grounded since October 2012. His oral appeal against the extradition order will be heard by the London High Court on July 2.
The liquor tycoon, known for his high-flying lifestyle, has previously also attended matches when the Indian cricket team toured England.
Last year, he had attended the final day of the fifth test between India and England at the Oval and the year before that, he was seen in the VIP section of the stadium during the India vs Pakistan Champions Trophy game.