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Vijay Mallya to appear before Westminster Court in London

Vijay Mallya to appear before Westminster Court in London”

Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya will appear in a Westminster court in London on Thursday as hearing resumes in his extradition case. The Indian side is now meant to review the evidence filed by him and the court will next sit to hear the case on November 20. Meanwhile, government lawyer expressed surprise by this step. The CPS said it was awaiting some reports from the defence team. "We are ready and willing to proceed and would invite the court to fix a hearing date at the earliest", CPS barrister Mark Summers had said.

"We are disappointed to get a physical box with nothing electronically....it has cost us a week", he told Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who also agreed that it was "slightly unfortunate in 2017", that evidence was not submitted electronically as well.

Prison conditions have been an issue in previous extradition hearings to India, the magistrate noted.

The CPS told the court that the "Indian authorities had foreseen this as an issue and have been engaged on the matter" and provided detailed assurances and photographs by email relating to prison conditions where Mallya is likely to be held.

However, the CBI had submitted extradition request in respect of Mallya regarding the case under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for his extradition from the United Kingdom. Mallya remains on bail till the December 4 hearing.

The authorities in the United Kingdom have also informed India about its independent "formal" probe against Mallya and sought details of money laundering charges against him along with an account of his assets overseas from CBI and ED.

The businessman, who has been based in the United Kingdom since he left India in March 2016, is wanted in India for his erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines' default on loans worth almost Rs 9,000 crores.

Mallya, who has been in self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom since March 2016, was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on April 18 and is now out on bail.

The crown prosecution service, representing the Indian authorities, criticized Mr Mallya for not sending the evidence electronically. If the district judge decides Mallya should be extradited, the judge must send the case to the Secretary of State. He has however been asked to attend the first day of trial on December 4.

However, the case can go through a series of appeals before arriving at a conclusion. India and United Kingdom signed an Extradition Treaty in 1992, which has been in force since November 1993.



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