It is “blindingly obvious” that Indian banks broke rules to give loans to Vijay Mallya’s now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, a British judge hearing the businessman’s extradition case said on Friday.
“There are clear signs that the banks seem to have gone against their guidelines [in sanctioning some loans],” Judge Emma Arbuthnot said, according to PTI. The Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London has been hearing India’s request to extradite Mallya.
Arbuthnot also asked the Crown Prosecution Service, which is arguing on behalf of India, to explain where some of the evidence in the case came from. She said the case was a “jigsaw puzzle” with different pieces of “massive evidence”, and that the court also got an “unsolicited” email in Hindi from India.
The prosecution dismissed the arguments of Mallya’s counsel that some of the evidence India gave was not admissible. Mallya himself had “chosen not to give evidence”, said Crown Prosecution Service counsel Mark Summers, calling the defence’s arguments “nonsense”.
The court will now consider additional evidence on April 27, when closing submissions by Mallya’s defence team will begin.
Mallya is wanted in India on charges of defrauding banks of more than Rs 9,000 crore. The businessman, who has been in the United Kingdom since March 2016, had said he will not return to the country. India’s Ministry of External Affairs had submitted an extradition request to the UK in February 2017 after Mallya made his self-imposed exile clear. The request was made on the basis of an extradition treaty signed between the countries in 1992.