Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya faces extradition from the UK

  • A London court ordered the extradition of Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya, who is being pursued by India's authorities over unpaid loans tied to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
  • Once listed as one of India's wealthiest people, Mallya's extradition would be a huge win for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi before he faces re-election next year.
Vijay Mallya looks on during the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 Gala Dinner at UB City on October 7, 2009 in Bangalore, India. 
Matt Lewis | Global Cricket Ventures| Getty Images
Vijay Mallya looks on during the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 Gala Dinner at UB City on October 7, 2009 in Bangalore, India. 

A London court ordered that Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya should be extradited from Britain to India, where he faces fraud charges over unpaid loans tied to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

Monday's ruling will be passed to the Home Secretary for approval.

India wants to bring criminal action against Mallya for over $1.4 billion in loans Kingfisher took from Indian banks. Authorities argue that the 62-year-old has no intention of repaying those loans.

The businessman's attorneys have argued against the prosecution citing insufficient evidence and even suggested that the accusations are politically motivated. His lawyers say the case runs the risk of facing unfair trial due to political pressure and media scrutiny, according to The New York Times.

Once listed as one of India's wealthiest people, Mallya's extradition would be a huge win for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who faces a crucial re-election next year. Modi has been criticized by opposition politicians of being lenient toward several citizens that have left their country in recent years to escape prosecution.

"Great Day for India. No one who cheats India will go scot free," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took to Twitter to weigh in on Mallya's extradition. He said that the National Democratic Alliance — which includes the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party — had brought Mallya "to book." Mallya had fled India during BJP's time as a ruling power.

Tweet: Great Day for India. No one who cheats India will go scot free. The Judgement of UK's Court is welcome. An offender benefited during the UPA. The NDA brings him to book.

Mallya — known for his lavish lifestyle and has been called the "King of Good Times" and "India's Richard Branson" — built his fortune as the maker of Kingfisher beer before adding a stake in the Force India Formula 1 racing team.

He had set up the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines which struggled to compete in the domestic market. In 2012, the airline shut down its operations after owing more than a billion in loans, bills and salaries.

The liquor baron reportedly remains on conditional bail and still has a chance to appeal in higher courts in the U.K. against Monday's extradition ruling.

— Reuters contributed to this report