New Delhi: A UK court Tuesday asked India to submit within three weeks a video of a cell at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai where they plan to keep Vijay Mallya post-extradition, as it set September 12 for closing arguments in his high-profile extradition trial.
Mallya, wanted in India on fraud charges, appeared before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London where both defence and prosecution presented clarifications on Barrack 12 at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai that would house Mallya.
After hearing the arguments, Judge Emma Arbuthnot asked the Indian authorities to submit within three weeks a video of the Barrack 12 of the Arthur Road Jail. The Judge set the next hearing, for closing submissions, September 12 and extended Mallya’s bail until then.
Earlier, Mallya said the allegations of money laundering and stealing money against him are “completely false.” “At the end of the day, the courts will decide,” he told reporters outside the court.
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss, who has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in April last year, is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores.
At the last hearing in the case April 27, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had received a boost in the case as Judge Arbuthnot confirmed that the bulk of the evidence submitted by the Indian authorities would be admissible in the case.
The CBI had submitted a detailed set of documents to the UK court, which includes case of conspiracy against former IDBI Bank Deputy Managing Director BK Batra, who was referred to in court as a new “villain” of sorts in the case.
As per the Indian authorities’ case of conspiracy, Batra reportedly colluded with Mallya in sanctioning some of the loans to the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines without following due diligence procedures.
In the separate extradition proceedings, if the judge rules in favour of the Indian government, the UK home secretary will have two months to sign Mallya’s extradition order. However, both sides will have the chance to appeal in higher courts in the UK against the Magistrates’ Court verdict.
Mallya’s defence team, headed by barrister Clare Montgomery, has disputed the fraud allegations and also submitted further written material from UK-based prisons expert Dr Alan Mitchell, challenging some of the photographs of Barrack 12 of Mumbai Central Prison on Arthur Road. Meanwhile, India promised to deliver a video showing facilities and other details of barrack number 12 of the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai by September 12.