Vijay Mallya has been based in the UK since he left India in March 2016 as banks stepped up efforts to recover Rs. 9,000 crore in unpaid loans.
A television set, personal toilet and bedding, a washing area and a courtyard to take a stroll in the sunlight are some of the highlights of Barrack Number 12 of Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail, the prospective residence of fugitive tycoon Vijay Malaya. The Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI, which is trying to get the liquor magnate extradited from the UK, has filed a 6-8 minute-long video documentary highlighting these facilities before a London court.
The video was prepared after Vijay Mallya complained about “no natural light” or fresh air in Indian jails, prompting the UK judge to ask India for a video of the prison cell where it plans to keep the fraud-accused businessman.
“The court wanted us to show if Indian jails are hygienic. We have given them proof of the hygiene level and medical facilities available in jail. In fact, the barrack in which Mr Mallya would be lodged is east-facing so it has lot of sunlight too,” a senior level official told us.
“The cell has cross ventilation with a window and bars on opposite sides. The cell also opens to a courtyard,” the senior official who was associated with the filming of the clip said.
According to him, Vijay Mallya would also be given access to a library to keep himself occupied.
“As far is security is concerned, the jail security matches international standards – we already informed court in last few hearings,” the source said. The Home Ministry had recently carried out a security audit of the jail and its findings were also submitted in the court, he said.
The cells are constantly watched through CCTV cameras and have additional guards posted both inside and outside the barrack to keep a round-the-clock vigil on the inmates.
“Food is served four times during the day inside an earmarked area of the barrack, where the inmates are told to gather,” the official added.
Barrack 12 at the Arthur Road Jail houses high-profile inmates, including prisoners who face a security threat elsewhere, ones who could pose a threat to others, or ones who can trigger law-and-order challenges.
Vijay Mallya has been based in the UK since he left India in March 2016 as banks stepped up efforts to recover Rs. 9,000 crore in unpaid loans. The extradition trial opened in London on December 4 last year.
The court will take up the high-profile extradition case next on September 12.