The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday denied any delay on its part in providing evidence to the UK for extradition proceedings of former chairman of now defunct Kingfisher Airlines Vijay Mallya. It insisted that the extradition request sent on February 9 included the first chargesheet filed in the bank loan default case against Mallya on January 24. The agency added that a CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials’ team travelled to the UK at the request of authorities there and provided further evidence on May 2 and 3. It said that a supplementary chargesheet filed on June 2 was given to the UK authorities on June 9, four days before the hearing in the case.
ED sources told The Indian Express that the delay, if any, has been on part of the UK authorities, who have sought time from the British court hearing the matter on account of whatever was pending at their end. The CBI pointed out that the June 13 hearing was a case management review and not extradition hearing. “The purpose of case management hearing is to determine further steps to be taken up in the case and to draw a timetable for extradition proceedings,’’ a CBI statement said. “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 the UK.”
The CBI rejected claim of delay that Mallya’s lawyer had raised. It added that the lawyer had sought a date in March-April 2018 which was opposed. “To justify a later date, the defence counsel raised the issue of delay, which is nothing but a figment of his imagination.’’ It added that the specialist prosecutor in the case had confirmed there was no criticism of the extradition request or that of the Indian government during the June 13 proceedings. “Senior district judge fixed next case management hearing on 6 July, 2017 when the dates for extradition hearing will be decided.’’