Mallya's extradition hearing deferred till 6 July

A London court hearing an Indian government plea for extradition of beleaguered industrialist Vijay Mallya has been deferred till 6 July citing lack of sufficient evidence from India.

Mallya, who is wanted in India for defaulting on loans to several banks, appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court today for his extradition case hearing.

Mallya has been in the UK since March 2016 and was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on 18 April, only to be let off on a personal bond.

The court said the next hearing is scheduled to take place on 6 July, even as Mallya reiterated his innocence saying that unlike claims, no loans were ever diverted.

''I'm happy that I can put my case before a fair and impartial court in the UK,'' Mallya told reporters after coming out of the court.

''I have not alluded any courtI have enough evidence to prove my case,'' Mallya had told reporters on his way into the court.

Mallya, once the indisputable liquor baron in India and chief of erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines, has been out on bail since his arrest in April.

''When the case returns to court, the District Judge is likely to set down a timetable for the service of any evidence to be submitted by either side in the proceedings, and list a date for a final hearing. There might be a few more hearings in this case in the coming months to deal with case management or any issues that arise, before the final hearing takes place, at which the full arguments from both sides in this case will be heard by the District Judge,'' Jasvinder

Nakhwal, partner at Peters and Peters Solicitors LLP and member of the UK's Extradition Lawyers Association, had explained before the hearing.

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which argued on behalf of the Indian authorities, had met a joint team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in London last month to thrash out details of the case.

Mallya, who is wanted in India for Kingfisher Airlines' default on loans worth nearly Rs 9,000 crores, has been in the UK since March 2016.

Although India and the UK have an Extradition Treaty, signed in 1992, so far only one extradition has taken place under the arrangement – Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who was sent back to India last October to face trial in connection with his involvement in the post-Godhra riots of 2002. However, unlike Mallya, he had submitted to the extradition order without legal challenge.