The extradition case of Vijay Mallya, wanted in India for allegedly defaulting on bank loans for a sum of Rs 9,000 crore, has been going on for a while. On Tuesday, the chief magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled that the full hearing will be held on December 4.
But it could take much longer. The hearing, in fact, could be pushed back to next year in case his defence team feels it has not got all the material it needs from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which is acting on behalf of the Indian government.
And that didn't leave Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster magistrates' court very happy. Disappointed with the delays in evidence arriving from the government of India, Arbuthnot asked, "Are Indians normally very prompt in their responses?"
The chief magistrate further noted, "They have taken six months so far and we haven't got any further forward in the past 6 weeks."
The comment came after Aaron Watkins, representing India, said the Crown Prosecution Service needed a further three-four weeks to receive the rest of the evidence from India and to review it.
Watkins pointed out that the material received in the case was "not insubstantial". He said that the evidence had been requested six weeks ago from the government of India. But nothing has been received so far.
The exact date of the hearing will be discussed again at "a case management hearing" on July 6. Arbuthnot will decide then whether to stick to December 4 or push it back well into the new year.
Meanwhile, Mallya, the 61-year-old former boss of Kingfisher Airlines has been quite cocky in his responses. Outside the court, when a bunch of journalists questioned him, his response was-- "Keep dreaming about billions of pounds."
"I deny all allegations that have been made and I will continue to deny them," he said.
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