A court in the United Kingdom on Tuesday granted bail to businessman Vijay Mallya in connection with the extradition case against him and adjourned the hearing till September 12, News18 reported.
It has also asked Indian authorities to submit videos of the condition of Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail, where Mallya will be held if extradited, by then. Mallya’s defence team has raised several questions about the living conditions in the jail.
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, has said he will not return to the country. India’s Ministry of External Affairs 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.
Before the proceedings began on Tuesday, Mallya reiterated that the “allegations of money laundering and stealing money” against him are completely false, ANI reported. He was speaking to reporters outside the courthouse in London, where the final submissions in his ongoing extradition trial began around 2.30 pm Indian time.
“I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court,” Mallya added. “There are over 14,000 crore of assets I have placed before the court. I have requested court to sell my assets worth Rs 14,000 crore.”
Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot of the Westminster court will hear final submissions on Tuesday, PTI reported, citing a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service, which is arguing on behalf of India. “Judgement will be reserved until a future date [to be arranged],” the spokesperson added.
If the judge rules in favour of the Indian government, the United Kingdom home secretary will have two months to sign Mallya’s extradition order. However, both sides can appeal in a higher court.
In the last hearing in April, Arbuthnot had said that most of the evidence that the Central Bureau of Investigation has submitted against Mallya in the case will be admissible. The decision was seen as a boost for the investigating agency. In March, Arbuthnot had said it was “blindingly obvious” that Indian banks broke rules to give loans to Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.