Mumbai: Countering charges levelled by liquor baron Vijay Mallya that condition in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail is ‘inhuman’, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) submitted a video in London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court showing proper natural light in the Cell Number 12, where the absconding businessman will be lodged after extradition.
The central probe agency submitted a 10-minute long video footage before the UK court earlier this week. The video recording was submitted following an earlier request by the Westminster Magistrate’s Court to compile a detailed video of barrack 12 after Mallya complained about conditions of the Indian jail.
Mallya’s lawyers in the court on July 31 debated on the condition of toilet and natural light in Arthur Road Jail. The final submissions in Mallya trial has been postponed till September 12.
His defence claimed that he would not face a fair trial if returned to India and would be subjected to “inhuman” conditions if kept in the Arthur Road Jail.
In submissions to the court, the Indian authorities outlined that there would be adequate toilet and washing facilities, including private separate toilet – including a Western Commode – and washing facilities that would be regularly cleaned.
The government also reassured the court that Mallya would be provided with adequate bedding – including regularly cleaned bed linen and pillows.
The Indian government also underscored that court hearings would be held regularly and Mallya would be produced in court on time so that his trial would proceed “expeditiously”.
In response, Mallya’s lead defence counsel Clare Montgomery QC said that the photographs cannot be relied on. She claimed that a photography expert employed by the defence team claimed that the apparent “natural” light shown in the photographs appear to be “staged”.
As a result, Judge Emma Arbuthnot requested the Indian government to compile a detailed video of barrack 12 in order to make a judgement.
Earlier on June 30, Mallya was summoned by a designated court under the Fugitive Economic Offenders to appear before it on August 27.
The notice was issued in connection with the Enforcement Directorate’s June 22 application to declare him as a fugitive economic offender and to confiscate his properties.
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(With ANI inputs)