In a setback to India’s extradition request for the billionaire businessman Vijay Mallya, a British judge has made scathing observations on the Indian jails.
While rejecting India’s extradition request for bookie Sanjeev Chawla on human rights grounds, District Judge Rebecca Crane observed that were “strong grounds for believing that Chawla would be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the Tihar prison complex, due to the overcrowding, lack of medical provision, risk of being subjected to torture and violence either from other inmates or prison staff which is endemic in Tihar.”
Chawla is accused in the match-fixing scandal dating back to 2000 that involved former South African captain Hansie Cronje, who had later committed suicide. According to media reports, judges at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London ruled in favour of UK-based alleged bookie Sanjeev Kumar Chawla on 16 October and discharged a fraud case against British Indian couple Jatinder and Asha Rani Angurala on October 12.
The UK judges’ unfavourable observation on the living condition and human rights violation inside the Indian jails will make the Indian government extremely nervous in light of its request for extradition request for Mallya.
Mallya, who has been declared a proclaimed offender in India, was arrested in London in April by the Scotland Yard on India’s request for his extradition on fraud charges. He was later released on bail within hours of being taken into custody.
The 61-year-old liquor baron, wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth Rs 9,000 crore, was arrested after he appeared at a central London police station this morning.
Last month he was arrested for the second time and once again he was granted bail after being produced in the court. The British judge’s observation will make Mallya euphoric as his team of lawyers are bound to use this in the liquor baron’s defence.