Boost to CBI on proof admissibility in Mallya case, final hearing on July 11
62-year-old liquor baron Vijay Mallya is wanted in India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore.india Updated: Apr 27, 2018 22:55 IST
It was a good day for India at the Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday as a set of its documents to substantiate the case of financial misconduct against businessman Vijay Mallya was admitted as evidence, and the judge described a note on the conspiracy angle submitted by New Delhi as “very helpful”.
Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, hearing New Delhi’s request to extradite Mallya, directed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) representing India and Mallya’s legal team to submit 30-page closing statements in the next 10 weeks. She set July 11 for what is likely to be the final hearing in the high-profile case and extended Mallya’s £650,000 bail till then. Mallya’s lawyer, Claire Montgomery, had set out detailed objections over at least two hearings to some of the documents submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) related to statements by bank officials on loans extended to the 62-year-old businessman.
Arbuthnot, however, said the documents were admissible. Referring to the admissibility of some emails between Mallya and his Indian lawyers, she said she was “on the fence” due to legal protection and confidentiality lent to such communication between a client and lawyers.
The conspiracy note submitted to the court sets out various aspects of what Mark Summers, the CPS lawyer representing India, has described as “chapters of dishonesty” on the part of Mallya, who flew out of India in March 2016 as banks owed upwards of ₹9,000 crore by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines closed in on him to recover the dues. This includes the alleged submission to IDBI Bank of “false financial projections of Kingfisher Airlines, the deliberate and known provision of worthless securities to IDBI, and the immediate misapplication of the loaned funds”. The defence, represented on Friday by Ben Watson, insisted there were “real issues…a host of issues” from the sovereign assurance given by India on conditions at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai, where Mallya is to be held, if extradited.
India’s case is that Mallya, in conjunction with senior Kingfisher individuals and senior officials of IDBI Bank, dishonestly agreed to, and secured, disbursement of loans on a false basis.