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No criticism of India at Mallya hearing, says UK

The Crown Prosecution Service said the Mallya case was “large and complex” and the evidence gathered by the Indian police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was “substantial”.

world Updated: Jun 15, 2017 22:25 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Crown Prosecution Service,Indian businessman Vijay Mallya,Westminster Magistrates Court
Vijay Mallya in London on June 13.(Reuters )

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has rejected the claim that the Indian government or its extradition request was criticised by the judge during Tuesday’s hearing on the extradition of controversial Indian businessman Vijay Mallya.

The CPS acts on behalf of a country requesting extradition in proceedings in British courts. Mallya’s case (No. 1700934281) is being heard in the Westminster Magistrates Court by chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot.

CPS sources told HT on Thursday that the Mallya case was “large and complex” and the amount gathered by the Indian police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was “substantial”.

The material, they said, needed to be reviewed by the CPS’ Extradition Team and served in an organised and structured way upon the defence team, which will be done before the next hearing on July 6 to fulfil the prima facie requirement.

This evidence will show that there is a case for Mallya to answer, sources added.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Mallya’s team served a ‘Statement of Issues on the Court and CPS Extradition Team’. That document contains the bars to extradition that Mallya will raise.For each bar to extradition raised, he will need to provide supporting evidence.This evidence isexpected to be submittedat any time up to a cut-off date that has yet to be set by the court; the defence team should be working on these issues now, the sources said.

Mallya’s lawyer, Ben Watson, mentioned a second extradition request that India may submit. But CPS sources said whether or not a second request was made, with any further charges, it would be a matter for the Indian government.

“That is an issue we will deal with if it arises. At present, there is nothing concrete to consider,” they added.

Watson said during the hearing that the defence had not received all the documents in the case from the prosecution. Aaron Watkins, representing India, however, submitted that the material submitted so far was “not insufficient”.

To the query from Arbuthnot, “Are Indians quite prompt in their responses”, Watkins said there was a “good and close working relationship” with the government of India.

Arbuthnot set July 6 as the next date of hearing and tentatively fixed December 4 as the date when the full hearing in the extradition case will begin. Mallya’s lawyer had sought a date in February or March for the full hearing to begin.

First Published: Jun 15, 2017 22:25 IST