Kiren Rijiju, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, raised the matter of extradition of 13 Indians, including fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya, from the United Kingdom with Brandon Lewis, UK’s Minister of State for Immigration, on Nov. 7. The British politician was in India, and inaugurated the country’s 18th visa application center in India at Bengaluru.
Rijiju and Lewis held a delegation-level meeting in which the extradition of Mallya, former IPL boss Lalit Modi and alleged bookie Sanjeev Kumar Chawla was also discussed. Chawla’s extradition was rejected by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court that cited extreme conditions in Tihar jail in Delhi. A prima facie case is going on against him.
Lewis told Rijiju that Mallya’s extradition hearing would begin on Dec. 4 and that he would remain on conditional bail, the Times of India reported.
Meanwhile, India has appealed to the British High Court against the rejection of Chawla’s extradition. He is wanted in India for his role in match fixing during South Africa’s tour in 2000 when Hansie Cronje was the captain.
Judge Rebecca Crane of the Westminster Magistrates Court rejected the appeal on the ground that Chawla would be “subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the Tihar prison complex” in New Delhi. However, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), on behalf of the Indian government, said that the judge did not consider the documents from the home ministry about the conditions in Tihar Jail.
“The CPS has applied for leave to appeal the discharge,” a CPS spokesperson told the Hindustan Times. A date for the hearing has not been set yet.
“I am not satisfied that there is an effective system of protection against torture in the receiving state. Whilst the Supreme Court of India has raised concerns about prison conditions in a number of decisions, the court has found that little has changed in practice and overcrowding remains a problem,” Crane said.
Among the others wanted in India are Rajesh Kapoor, accused of kidnapping his brother Deepak Kapoor’s daughter; Tiger Hanif, who is wanted in connection with two bomb attacks in Gujarat in 1993; Atul Singh; Raj Kumar Patel; Jatiender Kumar Angurala and Asha Rani Angurala. The court rejected the extradition of the Anguralas as well.