Will Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya Share Same Cell In Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail, Asks U.K. Judge
There were some lighthearted moments at the U.K. court on Friday when Judge Emma Arbuthnot hearing the second bail plea of Nirav Modi asked the prosecution whether the fugitive diamantaire would be lodged in the same jail cell along with Vijay Mallya if he is also extradited to India.
The 48-year-old diamond merchant is wanted in India for alleged "high value and sophisticated" fraud and money laundering amounting to $2 billion.
At the very start of the hearing, Westminster Magistrates Court Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot said she was getting a sense of "deja vu", in reference to her having ordered the extradition of Mallya in December last year.
"Do we know which part of India he [Modi] is being sought in," the judge asked, to try and establish which jail Modi is likely to be held in.
Also read: Nirav Modi Denied Bail By U.K. Court
She was told by the Crown Prosecution Service, arguing on behalf of the Indian government, that it would be an extradition to Mumbai and that he may in fact be held in the same Arthur Road Jail as that prepared for liquor tycoon Mallya, to which the judge said in a lighthearted vein that it could even be the same cell as we know "there is space" from the previous video submitted during the Mallya extradition trial.
India has informed the U.K. court that Mallya will be lodged in one of the high security barracks located in a two-storey building inside the prison complex.
Authorities at the Arthur Road prison in Mumbai have kept a high security cell ready for Mallya if he is extradited from the U.K. in connection with loan default cases against him in India.
Mallya, wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, has filed his application in the U.K. High Court, seeking permission to appeal against an extradition order signed by the British Home Secretary.