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Does London Court's nod to Tihar Jail opens its gates for fugitive Mallya?

The UK Court's decision overturning Chawla’s defence over poor prison conditions, may have put the liquor baron Mallya in a difficult situation and left him worried  about his fate in the next court trial.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 17 Nov 2018 6:35 AM GMT

Does London Courts nod to Tihar Jail opens its gates for fugitive Mallya!
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London: After UK court has given green signal for the extradition of bookie Sanjay Chawla in Delhi based Tihar Jail, it is speculated that it might help India to extradite fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

Chawla has been accused of channelising and monitoring match fixing between bookies and then South African captain Hansie Cronje between January and March 2000 matches.

He was arrested in London in June 2016 and was produced before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court where his trial began on July 12, 2016.

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India was fighting for Chawla's extradition in London Court for quite long. The main defence by Chawla against his extradition was the conditions of the prison, where he would be kept during his trials. It was said to be not in compliance with Article 3 of ECHR that states that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

However, UK court judge gave India an opportunity to appeal by providing a third assurance that addresses issues of personal space, toilet facilities, risk from inter-prisoner violence in high security wards and guarantee of medical treatment.

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The Government of India furnished a third assurance, dated June 11, 2018-signed by the joint secretary, which ensured following safety procedures for Chawla:

#Proper safety and security will be provided to Chawla.

#He will be lodged in a cell exclusive to him.

#His ward will not house inmates who have violated any prison rules.

#And he will not be placed in the high security ward where there are outbreaks of violence.

#The cell would be approximately 6 square metres, excluding toilet

#The cell would comply with the standards UK courts adhere to regarding personal space and hygiene requirements.

#For security concerns, security cameras monitoring 24×7 will be there.

#For medical care, India assured the court that there are 86 medical officers available with a 200-bed hospital on the premises.

#India also assured to provide any immediate medical attention to Chawla if required.

The UK court judges-Lord Justice Leggatt and Justice Dingemans-in a judgment on Friday, ruled that the Tihar prison complex “posed no risk” to Sanjeev Kumar Chawla — an Indian-origin British citizen accused in International cricket matches fixing — after receiving a third assussurance from the Indian government about his proposed treatment there.

“Having regard to all of the information available to this court about Tihar prisons, the terms of the third assurance (which was not before the district judge) are sufficient to show that there will be no real risk that Mr Chawla will be subjected to impermissible treatment in Tihar prisons,” wrote the judges in their judgement.

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Well, the UK court's decision overturning Chawla’s defence over poor prison conditions, may have put the liquor baron Mallya in a difficult situation and left him worried about his fate in the next court trial.

Fugitive Vijay Mallya also has been using poor jail conditions in India as his defence in the case. He also has produced Alan Mitchell(Prison expert) as a witness to give evidence on the condition of Indian jails and also Professor Lau to give evidence about the Indian criminal justice.

In the beginning of the year, a renovation work at the Arthur Road jail was in full swing to extradite Mallya where he would be lodged during his trial.

Indian government has also provided assurances on prison conditions in Mallya’s case. India has also been asked to provide further photographic evidence by District judge Emma Arbuthnot. A video has also been produced by CBI as an evidence of good condition of prisons in India. To which the court has agreed to consider the evidence in its final judgement.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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