The British judge hearing the arrest case of liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya. It said “blindingly obvious” that rules were being broken by Indian banks. The banks which sanctioned some of the loans to the former Kingfisher Airlines.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot presided over a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. Judge Emma Arbuthnot heading for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian government, to provide a breakdown of where some of the emails and documentary evidence presented in the case came.
The hearing today striking the active end of oral arguments in the case. And which will now return to the court on April 27? This is to consider the additional material required by the judge and for closing submissions by Mallya’s defense team.
Indian banks went against their guidelines
As per the judge the case as a “jigsaw puzzle” with different pieces of “massive evidence which she said she was now able to see “more clearly” than a few months ago.
She also added “There are clear signs that the banks seem to have gone against their guidelines [in sanctioning some of the loans]. Also, “inviting” the Indian authorities to explain the case against some of the bank officials involved. As that relates to the “conspiracy” point against Mallya.
She also made the court aware of an “unwanted” email correspondence in Hindi received from India. A language she is unfamiliar.
In response, the defense team said all sides in the case had been at the receiving end of such unwanted messages.
Mallya, who is on trial for the U.K. court to rule if he can be extradited to India. It is to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores, watched the proceedings from the dock.
Chief Magistrate will announce the verdict by May
The CPS, arguing on behalf of the Indian government, laid out their arguments against the defense. CPS question the admissibility of some of the evidence submitted by the Indian authorities.
Pointing out that Mallya had “chosen not to give evidence” in the case, CPS counsel Mark Summers rejected the defense claims on the evidence as “nonsense”.
At the end of today’s hearing, the judge indicated her decision on the admissibility of evidence would go in favor of admitting some material and excluding some affidavits, which she indicated did not pertain to the prima facie case of fraud.
On a separate category of evidence presented by the Indian government, Mallya’s team questioned the reliability of investigating officers in the case and pointed to over 150 pages.
The judge did not seem to be convinced by this argument. So, she said that had found only two-three cases of mistakes but did not see a “problem” in the preparation of the statements.
The CPS also accused the defense team of tarnishing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate.
However, the Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot is expected to pronounce her verdict in the case by May this year.
If she rules in favor of the Indian government. Then the UK home secretary will have two months to sign Mallya’s extradition order.
However, both sides will have the chance to appeal to higher courts in the UK against the chief magistrate’s verdict.
- A judge described the case as a “jigsaw puzzle” with different pieces of “massive evidence”. She said she was now able to see “more clearly” than a few months ago
- She said the banks seem to have gone against their own guidelines in sanctioning some of the loans.