Vijay Mallya’s extradition papers given on time: CBI
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday denied any delay in submission of evidence to secure businessman Vijay Mallya’s extradition from the UK to India.
Mallya’s counsel had this week sought to defer hearings on the extradition in a London court, citing delayed submission of evidence by Indian agencies.
“During the hearing on 13 June, when the counsel of fugitive Mallya sought a date in March-April, 2018, Aaron Watkins of CPS (Crown Prosecution Services) opposed the same,” a CBI statement said. “To justify a later date, the defence counsel raised the issue of delay, which is nothing but a figment of his imagination. All the evidence regarding falsities, misstatements and false representations of Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines Limited (KAL) and officials of KAL had already been forwarded to authorities of UK.”
CBI said that there had been no criticism of the Indian government’s procedure in providing evidence against Mallya to the UK and the senior district judge of the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in London had fixed the next hearing for 6 July. The case will now be heard in December.
CBI said Tuesday’s hearing was a case management review and not an extradition hearing, adding that all documentation had been sent to the UK in February, following which the authorities there certified the request and forwarded it to the court.
Mallya had been chargesheeted by the CBI on 24 January, following which a CBI court in Mumbai issued a non-bailable warrant against him on 31 January. Mallya left for London in March 2016 as banks closed in on him to recover more than Rs9,000 crore owed to them by the defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
On 2 and 3 May, a team of CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials led by CBI’s additional director Rakesh Asthana was in London after the crown prosecutors sought a meeting with the agencies on 18 April. The CBI stated that the team had provided all additional documents sought by the court and answered the queries that had been raised.
“Mallya’s extradition request had been forwarded through diplomatic channels to the UK authorities on 9 February. The extradition dossier contained details of evidence including the chargesheet along with relied upon documents and non-bailable warrant of arrest. After the court was satisfied, it issued an arrest warrant and on 18 April morning, Vijay Mallya was arrested in London,” the CBI statement added. Mallya was released on bail after being detained briefly.
The federal agency also added that additional evidence was forwarded through diplomatic channels earlier this month, prior to Tuesday’s hearing.
The ED on Wednesday filed a chargesheet in a Mumbai court relating to the suspected diversion of a Rs900 crore loan given to Kingfisher Airlines by IDBI Bank Ltd.