Vijay Mallya on Thursday returned to a UK court for the third day of his extradition trial, which will determine whether the embattled liquor tycoon can be forced to return to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering allegedly amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores.
The 61-year-old has claimed, via his legal team, that the case brought against him is “politically motivated” and that it was being used as an opportunity to make “political capital” by the ruling BJP as well as Congress and Shiv Sena.
“CBI has a long and inglorious history of being politically motivated in cases with a direct correlation between allegations of corruption and election years,” his barrister Clare Montgomery had told Westminster Magistrate s Court on Tuesday.
The CBI team in London for the case, led by Special Director Rakesh Asthana, was present in court during this claim.
Laying out her counter-arguments before Judge Emma Arbuthnot, Montgomery had also called into question the “admissibility” of some of the evidence submitted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on behalf of the Indian government.
She claimed that much of the material was questionable and there were at least a dozen documents submitted which read like an identical “template”.
The judge has asked both sides to submit a document laying out the factors for and against the admissibility of the evidence submitted by the Indian authorities by the end of this week.
While the defence claims there is “zero” evidence to support a credible case of fraud against Mallya, the CPS had opened the trial on Monday with a detailed chronology of events to show “by virtue of evidence a prima facie case” against the boss of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.