London court extends Vijay Mallya's bail till 12 September
31 July 2018
The London court hearing the concluding statements in the Vijay Mallya extradition case today extended his bail till 12 September, in delayed proceedings during a brief session due to indisposition of the chief magistrate of the Westminster Magistrates Court, Emma Arbuthnot.
The court also asked the Indian government to deliver a video showing facilities and other details of Barrack Number 12 of the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai, where Mallya will be kept, by 12 September, the next day of hearing.
Monday’s hearing comes after several hearings since his arrest and release on bail in April 2017, which will now be extended until 12 September, when the video will be shown in court.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), representing India, submitted to the court the 8 May judgement of the commercial bench of the high court, upholding a worldwide freezing order against Mallya and the registering of a ruling of India’s Debt Recovery Tribunal in the case brought by 13 Indian banks.
CPS Mark Summers informed the court that Mallya’s application for permission to appeal against the 8 May judgement had also been recently dismissed by the high court.
The focus of Monday’s hearing was limited to prison conditions, which has been main reason for most of India’s extradition requests failing in British courts since the India-UK extradition treaty was signed in 1993. British courts have a duty to ensure that the person sought to be extradited will not face the risk of human rights being breached.
Summers sought to allay concerns previously raised by the Crown Court on facilities that would be available to Mallya in jail, if extradited, saying that a further ‘sovereign assurance’ had been submitted on behalf of the Indian state, assuring facilities such as western-style toilet, water, beds and no overcrowding.
He showed a series of photographs depicting the high-security Barrack Number 12 from various angles, depicting its entrance, facilities, windows and the natural light that would be available to Mallya. He said overcrowding is ruled out since its capacity is six.
“The Indian government will honour its assurances. Barrack number 12 has been recently renovated, we have provided the certificate of structural stability. Mallya will be produced in court hearings from here pre-trial, during trial, and after conviction, howsoever long that may be”, Summers said.
“There is no need for inspection”, he added.
Claire Montgomery, lawyer for Mallya, questioned the genuineness of the photographs, based on expers’s opinion of Indian prisons, and wondered if there was “manipulation” to show that natural light would be available to him. She preferred an inspection, which she said there would do no harm.
The judge, however, asked for a video from the Indian government, showing “step-by-step” the various dimensions of Barack number 12, to be shot during mid-day, without artificial lighting, within three weeks.
Montgomery agreed to the video, and Summers promised to deliver it by the deadline.
The hearing was attended by CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, officials of the Enforcement Directorate and the Indian high commissioner.