Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service on Friday said that the hearing for former liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s extradition has been postponed from May 17 to June 13. However, the prosecutor did not cite any particular reason for deferring the hearing. The CPS will argue on behalf of the Indian authorities at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. “The next hearing is June 13 for a case management hearing,” said a spokesperson, according to PTI.
Besides, prosecutors have reportedly asked Indian officials for material evidence to explain the “circumstances” that lead to the loan default, according to Hindustan Times. The four-member team led by Additional Director of Central Bureau of Investigation Rakesh Asthana had visited London to share information about the loan default cases against Mallya with British authorities.
Investigative agencies believe that Mallya may argue that his offence was civil and not criminal in nature, officials told Hindustan Times. He is also likely to claim that the cases against him were politically motivated as he was a member of Parliament during the tenure of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.
Mallya was granted bail by a Westminster magistrates’ court in London on April 18, only hours after he was arrested by the Scotland Yard in London. He was released on a conditional deposit of £6.5 lakh (around Rs 5.34 crores). The businessman was arrested on behalf of Indian authorities for his alleged involvement in fraud, a statement issued by the Scotland Yard said.
Mallya, who owes 17 banks in India more than Rs 9,000 crore, has been in UK since March 2016 and had earlier said he would not return to the country. He has been embroiled in a number of cases in India.
The Ministry of External Affairs had submitted an extradition request for Mallya on February 9. Later that month, Indian and UK officials met for two days to discuss deportation cases and pending requests to extradite people from the two countries.