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Published On: Tue, Jun 13th, 2017

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya granted bail by UK court

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vijay-mallya-new-reuters-L660-1NEW DELHI/LONDON  : Vijay Mallya, the embattled tycoon who is wanted in India on loan defaults to several banks, was granted bail by a UK court until December 4 on Tuesday. The court has set the next hearing on July 6, 2018. The 61-year-old former chief of erstwhile Kingfisher airlines appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court here today for his extradition case hearing. Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot granted bail to Mallya.

The chief of the defunct Kingfisher Airlines is wanted in India for defaulting on loans to the tune of over Rs. 9,000 crore ($1.4 billion) and the UK courts will now hear India’s appeal to extradite him to face justice at home.
“I am not going to answer any of your questions… I was heckled by two drunken cricket fans and you chose to highlight that. Many at the Oval wished me well,” added Mr Mallya, who was booed by a section of India supporters as he went to watch the India-South Africa Champions Trophy match on Sunday.

Earlier today, the hearing on the issue of embattled Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya’s extradition from the UK was scheduled at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The beleaguered liquor baron while talking to the reporters, before entering the court premises, denied the allegations that he eluded the court. He also claimed that he holds enough evidence to prove his innocence.

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) agued on behalf of the Indian authorities when the fugitive businessman’s extradition case comes up for hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.The hearing was earlier scheduled for May 17.”I have not alluded any court…I have enough evidence to prove my case,” Mallya told reporters outside the court.

Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot presided over what is referred to as a “case management hearing”.Mallya’s defence team was led by the firm Joseph Hague Aaronson LLP. They have instructed barrister Clare Montgomery, a specialist in criminal, regulatory and fraud law,to argue in court on their behalf.
The CPS have instructed Mark Summers to act as barrister for the CPS Extradition Unit and the Government of India.Summers is a leading expert in extradition and international law matters.”There might be a few more hearings in this case in the coming months to deal with case management or any issues that arise, before the final hearing takes place, at which the full arguments from both sides in this case will be heard by the Judge, explained Jasvinder Nakhwal, partner at Peters and Peters Solicitors LLP and member of the UK’s Extradition Lawyers Association.

The CPS had met a joint team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in London last month to thrash out details of the case.”Our aim is to build a strong, infallible case and these meetings will help resolve issues across the table. The CPS will be arguing based on documents provided by CBI and ED, therefore a joint team is here to address queries they may have,” official sources had said after the meeting held in early May.

Mr Mallya was arrested by the UK police in April following India’s request for extradition. Today, his lawyer Ben Watson told the Westminster Magistrates’ court that India is now preparing a second extradition request with further separate charges.

While India has not yet finalized its evidence against him, the court will examine what has been submitted so far during the next hearing on July 6. The court has earmarked two weeks in December to hear the extradition case against him.  Mr Mallya has repeatedly dismissed the charges against him. “I have not eluded any court. I have no expectations, listen to what court says,” he said today, asserting there was “enough evidence” to prove his case.With PTI Inputs

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