Following ‘a comprehensive settlement offer’, Mallya may be on his way back to India

Fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya today told reporters in London that he has offered a “comprehensive” settlement to the government of India. “I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court in India and hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably. Everybody gets paid off and I guess that’s the primary objective,” he said. Although he gave no detail of the settlement offer.

The liquor baron appeared before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court for hearing in his extradition case. Indian govt is seeking his extradition from the UK on various charges including money laundering and non-payment of bank loans. Mallya is contesting the extradition in UK courts, arguing he would not get a fair trial in India, and that conditions of jail are not good.

Referring to the argument on jail conditions by Mallya’s defence team, the London court judge had asked for a “step by step” video of the cell where Mallya will be lodged after he is transferred to India. This was done after the defence lawyers had argued that the still photographs of the cell provided by Indian govt are not clear. The Crown Protection Service, arguing on behalf of the government of India had agreed to this and a video was made and submitted to the court. For this, considerable renovations were carried out at two cells of Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.

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The defence lawyers of Mallya demanded physical inspection of the jail cell, and opposed submission of the video to the court, in an obvious delaying tactic. The crown protection service (CPS) argued that Indian govt has provided adequate material and there is no need for an inspection of the jail. The Judge informed that the video has been received and she has already watched it three times.

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court is hearing final arguments in the case, and a ruling is expected soon.

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