After continuous focus and concrete investigation and countless visits to London by CBI officer Suman Kumar finally bore fruit after three long years in the bank fraud case against flamboyant businessman Vijay Mallya.
Vijay Mallya, the high-flying owner of now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, on Thursday lost his application seeking leave to appeal his extradition to India in the UK Supreme Court, setting a 28-day clock on his removal from the UK.
The extradition case pertains to the alleged bank fraud of Rs 900 crore in IDBI Bank. The embattled liquor baron also faces probe in another case related to alleged fraud amounting of more than Rs 9,000 crore in a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India.
Mr Kumar was assigned the case against Vijay Mallya, known for his ostentatious lifestyle and who had made his way to the Indian Parliament as a Rajya Sabha member, as the DSP of Banking Frauds and Security Cell, Mumbai in October, 2015.
Mr Kumar is now an additional superintendent of police in the country’s premier investigation agency.
Vijay Mallya was facing the media heat as his failing aviation company was finding it difficult to pay staff salaries and retain premium services it had promised to its customers with clamour for charging him increasing day by day, sources in the agency had said.
It was a tricky situation for the CBI as the lending banks did not file any complaint against Vijay Mallya in spite of serious allegations of fraud against him, they said.
The agency decided to go ahead and used its source-based information to register the first case against Mallya related to Rs 900 crore alleged loan fraud against him.
The job was difficult as India had an abysmal record in succeeding in extradition cases in Europe, especially the United Kingdom. The case was fought by the Crown Prosecution Service with active support from the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.
Mr Kumar ensured a concrete case of fraud is established and a charge sheet is filed in India to make a strong case for Vijay Mallya’s extradition.
It was imperative that India had a case against Vijay Mallya which was punishable in laws of the United Kingdom.
Through his exhaustive probe, Mr Kumar managed to establish alleged fraud and money laundering in his probe for which charge sheets were filed in India.
“We were not contesting a trial there. We had to convince the courts that a prima facie case is made out to justify extradition to India,” a senior officer said.
The findings reached by Mr Kumar in his probe managed to achieve a conclusive argument in support of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India which culminated in the UK High Court denying him the leave to approach the Supreme Court to challenge his extradition.
Suman Kumar was lauded by the CBI for his efforts in the case.