Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Tuesday was granted bail by Westminster court in London, news agency ANI reported. The next hearing in the matter will take place on September 12. Mallya, who is facing money laundering charges amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores, visited the court along with his son Siddharth for closing arguments in the extradition trial.
The court in its hearing today also directed the Indian authorities to submit a video of the cell at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai where they plan to keep Mallya post-extradition. While both the parties presented clarifications on Barrack 12 at Arthur Road Jail, Judge Emma Arbuthnot asked the Indian authorities to submit a video of Barrack 12 of the Arthur Road Jail within three weeks. The Judge set the next hearing, for closing submissions, on September 12 and extended Mallya’s bail until then.
Interacting with reporters outside the court, Mallya denied the money laundering charges against him and termed them ‘completely false’. He was quoted by PTI as saying, “The allegations of money laundering and stealing money are completely false”, adding, “At the end of the day, the courts will decide.”
He further said that he has not filed a clemency plea and will settle all his dues. “I have not applied for any clemency plea. I am ready to settle my dues,” said Mallya.
Taking note of the evidence provided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Judge Arbuthnot at the last hearing on April 27 ruled that the proofs submitted by the Indian agency will be admissible in the case. The CBI had then submitted a detailed set of documents to the UK court, which includes its case of conspiracy against former IDBI Bank Deputy Managing Director BK Batra, who was referred to in court as a new ‘villain’ of sorts in the case. As per the Indian investigating agency, Batra reportedly helped Mallya to sanction some of the loans to the now-defunct without following due diligence procedures.
If the verdict is in favour of the Indian authorities, the UK home secretary will have two months to sign Mallya’s extradition order. However, both the parties will get the chance to appeal in higher courts in UK against the Westminster court’s verdict.