A senior government source on Thursday told ANI that the Indian Government's intention was not to prove liquor baron Vijay Mallya guilty of any crime in a British court of law but to force him to return to India to answer criminal charges in his country of origin.
During the lunch break on the third day of extradition proceedings at Westminster Magistrate's Court in London, the source said that there were criminal charges pending against Mallya.
"The Indian Government's work here in London is not to find Mallya guilty of anything but to tell him and convince the extradition judge that there were allegations of criminal activity in India that he should come and face up to," the source said.
The source also said that the government was of the view that if the case was decided on the merits of the case, there would be no question of Mallya being extradited to India.
However, there are other factors that need to be weighed up by judge Emma Arbuthnot, including the perception that jail conditions in India would be "abysmal", the source added.
The source further said, "We have given repeated sovereign assurances about the prison conditions. We keep individuals in special cases like this in special cells. We provide them special bathroom and toilet facilities and other items like a table and a chair and we make provisions for things like exercise and so forth. We have demonstrated on previous occasions that we do keep our promises."
The comments came on another day of defence arguments in Mallya's extradition case during which his legal team continued to argue that there was no evidence that the liquor baron had conspired to defraud banks out of more than Rs 2,500 crore.
The extradition trial of Mallya, who is wanted in India for financial irregularities involving a total amount of Rs 9,000 crore as well as money laundering, began at the London's Westminster court on Monday, wherein Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) outlined the Indian government's case against him. (ANI)