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Vijay Mallya : Liquor baron to return to UK court for final hearing

The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines and liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya will return to Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London today for closing arguments in his extradition trial and for the judge to set a timeline for a ruling in the high-profile case. Vijay Mallya was on bail for an extradition warrant since he was arrested in April last year, is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs. 9,000 crores.

The hearing will see both the sides and will make final submissions.“The Senior District Judge (Emma Arbuthnot) will hear final submissions. Judgment will be reserved until a future date (to be arranged),” said a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which is representing the Indian authorities in the case.

At the last hearing in the case on April 27, the CBI had received a boost in the case as Judge Arbuthnot confirmed that the bulk of the evidence submitted by the Indian authorities will be admissible in the case. The CBI had also submitted a detailed, which is a set of document that includes Vijay Mallya 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.

The extradition trial, which opened at the London court on December 4 last year, is aimed at laying out a prima facie case of fraud against Mallya, who has been based in the UK since after he left India in March 2016. It also seeks to prove that there are no bars to extradition and Mallya has assured a fair trial in India over his no longer existing ‘Kingfisher Airlines’ alleged default of over Rs. 9,000 crores in loans from a consortium of Indian banks

However, both the sides will have the chance to appeal in higher courts in the UK against the Magistrates‘ Court verdict. In the separate extradition proceedings, if the judge rules are in the favour of the Indian government, then the UK home secretary will have two months to sign Vijay Mallya’s extradition order.