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Vijay Mallya Extradition: When PM Modi Gave a Stern Message to Theresa May

There have been reports of May expressing doubts to Modi about the condition of jails in India.

Aishwarya Kumar |

Updated:May 28, 2018, 10:08 PM IST
New Delhi: Negotiating the deportation of liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his British counterpart Theresa May that “jails in India were the same ones where the British jailed Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru”.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made the revelation on Monday during the ministry’s annual press conference.

There have been reports of May expressing doubts to Modi about the condition of jails in India.

“UK courts wanting to check the conditions of jails in India is not correct. Modi told May that these are the same jails where they jailed Gandhi and Nehru,” Swaraj said.

The question arose after Vijay Mallya's defence fielded a UK-based prison service expert to claim that jails in India are over-crowded with poor hygiene as the defence and prosecution completed submission of all the evidence in the extradition trial of the liquor baron at a UK court.

The extradition trial seeks to prove that there are no "bars to extradition" and that Mallya is assured a fair trial in India over his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines's alleged default of over Rs 9,000-crore in loans from Indian banks.

Mallya's barrister, Clare Montgomery, deposed Dr Alan Mitchell before the Westminster Magistrates' Court in an attempt to highlight that conditions in Barrack 12 of Mumbai Central Prison on Arthur Road, where the 61-year-old businessman is to be held, were "far from satisfactory".

Dr Mitchell, former head of healthcare at the Scottish Prison Service and an elected member of the European Council's European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, said the assurances given by the Indian government were "general in nature" to state that jail conditions would be "adequate" for Mallya.

"But adequate in the eyes of whom," Mitchell questioned.

His evidence relied heavily upon his past inspection visit to Alipore Jail in Kolkata and also on an account of the prison conditions in Puzhal Jail in Chennai, from six former British soldiers referred to as the Chennai Six have recently been released.

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