December 4, 2017 A high-voltage legal trial is all set to be rolled out in London’s Westminster Magistrate Court. The joint team of ED and CBI has arrived to represent India and seek Mallya’s extradition. The question is Will India ultimately succeed in hosting together a defence that sustains in a British Court and procure its second extradition from the UK after putting its signature on an extradition treaty after 25 years.
On the one hand is Vijay Mallya who faces grave charges regarding financial irregularities to the tune of more than Rs. 9000 crores or above a billion pounds. But he remains in a state of defiance. While countering him is an out of the way upbeat Indian government. The recent months have seen a high buoyancy and precise detailing to construct the paperwork.
The earlier extradition cases did not meet with successs due to low paperwork quality. Rather, the only successfull case relates to Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who consented to extradition in 2016, and made India’s work easier. This time, however thousands of papers have been obtained from India, directed towards asserting fraudulent charges against Mallya. Visual as well as various evidence have been furnished to support the claim that the prison cell of Mumbai to which he would be confined meets global standards revealing details of the prison’s gym, library plus medical services.
Mallya’s case had frequently figured in current bilateral meets, that includes the February visit of the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley to UK. There is some sense of relief in Indian circles regarding Mallya’s arrest in April within a duration of 2 months of India’s application for extradition, compared to earlier instances where it got much delayed.
Prison environment in India and bad treatment of inmates has often been the primary excuse raised by persons trying to escape extradition. This happened in the proposed Indian cricket bookie Sanjeev Kumar Chawla’s case. The evidences cited for alleging bad treatment and torture were Indian court verdicts, reports on human rights and newspaper details.
In Mallya’s case, India is providing inspection and overlooking of prison conditions by the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission , as well as the National Human Rights Commission to thwart away allegations of overcrowding of other matters that prevail in Indian prisons. The prison conditions of India emerge as one amongst the numerous issues put up by Mallya’s defence. The primary issue involves whether India by means of the Crown Prosecutioin Service (CPS) can establish a clinching case of Mallya getting a fair trial consequent to his extradition to India.
Another vital question relates to whether non-payment or transferring of bank loans, or a company downsliding, draw similar legal opprobrium in UK like in India? Article 2 of the India-UK extradition pact holds that extradition is possible only if the crime is penalized by the laws of both nations for at least one year.
Legal professionals assert that civil cases have less chances of success with regard to extradition proceedings than criminal cases.
Mallya’s team has however presented a line up of domain experts in the fields of accounts, aviation, legal, politics and prisons. Two of them, namely Law specialist Martin Lau and prisons proficient Alan Mitchell have earlier handled cases that ruled against India.
This time there is an improved standard of Indian documentation regarding language of official guarantees, from bureaucratic formalities, discourses to particular commitments.
The Indian high commission mentioned in an exclusive press note regarding the Mallya case on July 6 that it had submitted every document concerning the case like charge sheets including supplementary, non-bailable arrest warrant, witness admissions and evidences to the UK side.
Proofs have also been furnished with regard to misrepresentations and deceptions carried out by Mr. Vijay Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines officials. The UK side are contented with the material delivered by the Indian agencies that will be suitably utilized by them in the course of extradition proceedings.
The major extradition trial at the Westminster Magistrate’s court would continue for 8 days and the final judgement is likely to be delivered on December 14.