Vijay Mallya's extradition appeal to be heard in Feb 2020

Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya's appeal in the U.K High Court against his extradition order has been listed for a three-day hearing from February 11 next year, the U.K court said on Thursday.

The 63-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss had won a reprieve earlier when a two-judge panel at the Royal Courts of Justice in London granted him permission to appeal against the extradition order of a lower court to face fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an alleged Rs 9,000 crores in India.

The appeal hearing has been listed on 11 February 2020 with a time estimate of three days, a U.K High Court official said.

At a hearing on July 2, Justices George Leggatt and Andrew Popplewell concluded that arguments can be reasonably made on some aspects of the prima facie case presented by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), on behalf of the Indian government.

The ruling on the basis of that material by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot in her extradition order of December 2018, which was signed off by U.K home secretary Sajid Javid earlier, is therefore now set for a full appeal hearing in the higher court.

By far the most substantial ground is that the senior District Judge was wrong to conclude that the government had established a prima facie case, noted Judge Leggatt.

Mallya's counsel, Clare Montgomery, had successfully contested the basis on which Judge Arbuthnot had arrived at certain conclusions.

She claimed the judge had been "plain wrong" in accepting some of the Indian authorities' assertions that Mallya had fraudulent intentions when he sought some of the loans for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, that he made misrepresentations to the banks to seek the loans and had no intentions to pay them back.

(Agencies)