Jail or freedom? Vijay Mallya's extradition fate nearing decision
Flamboyant businessman Vijay Mallya's extradition hearing in London court is nearing its end, Hindustan Times reported. Mallya faces charges of financial misconduct and Westminster Magistrates Court will rule on the admissibility of key documents today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to London earlier this month, had discussed Mallya's extradition with his British counterpart Theresa May. Here are the details.
Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot will give a verdict on the admissibility of 150-pages document produced by Indian agencies. The document has statements of bank officials of loans given to Mallya, amounting to Rs. 9,000 crore. She is also expected to announce the date of final verdict, most likely in May. Post the verdict, both Indian agencies and Mallya can appeal against it.
India's case is represented by Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyer Mark Summers. He focussed on Mallya's 'chapters of dishonesty' while making a case for extradition. On the other hand, Mallya's lawyer Claire Montgomery maintained the businessman's inability to repay loans was because of failures and not dishonesty. The judge called this case (where Mallya took a loan for his Kingfisher airlines) a 'jigsaw puzzle'.
Prisons and legal systems in India have largely been in focus in the hearings of Vijay Mallya's extradition case. If Mallya is extradited from London, he will be lodged in Arthur Road jail in Mumbai, in barrack number 12. Indian officials have detailed the condition of the prison, like electricity, personal space, medical assistance, and food.
Unlike other extradition cases, Vijay Mallya's case witnessed faster movement in the London court, much to the happiness of Indian officials. The initial request was made on February 17, 2017, he was arrested on April 18, 2017 (then given bail soon enough) and the case is in its final stage now. A 1993 treaty between India and Britain made extradition a legal process.