Vijay Mallya Can be Kept in Unit no 12 of Arthur Road Jail, Where Ajmal Kasab Spent His Last Days: Maharashtra Government Tells Centre
Mumbai, Oct 17: The Maharashtra government has told the Centre that the unit no 12 of the Arthur Road jail, where Ajmal Kasab was kept, is good enough for fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya. The state government said the special unit has facilities equivalent to ones Vijay Mallya will find in a European prison barring an AC. B K Upadhyay, additional director general of police (Prisons), said that they sent a report regarding this a month ago to counter Mallya’s contention that Indian jails are not good enough to house him.
“We sent a report to the centre with all necessary documents to back our claim close to a month ago,” Upadhyay was quoted as saying. The Maharashtra government also sent pictures of the unit no 12 of the Arthur Road jail to back their claims. The jail authorities also agreed to construct a European-style toilet for Vijay Mallya in the special cell. “In Arthur Road jail, we already provide European-style toilets for some convicts who are senior citizens. The unit no 12 has some commodes which were constructed for public prosecutors. We can let Mallya use this or construct a special one for him,” a senior Home Department official told a leading newspaper.
During the hearing of the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) extradition case in the United Kingdom, Vijay Mallya’s lawyer said that his client needed special care and home cooked food as a diabetic. He mentioned that toilets in Indian jails are in poor condition and government-run hospitals lack modern medical facilities. The Maharashtra Home Department informed the Centre than jail manuals only allows convicted prisoners to get home cooked food, while Mallya is an undertrial.
The Unit no 12 of Arthur Road jail, which was specially constructed to house Ajmal Kasab, the lone militant caught alive for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, has a total space for 12 prisoners. At present, NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, his nephew Pankaj and Peter Mukerjea, one of the accused in the Sheena Bora murder case are kept there. “He wants European standards in the jail and we feel that we meet the standards. The report will be used in the extradition process when required,” the official said.
Mallya fled to Britain in March 2016 after being pursued for recovery of Rs 8,191 crore owed to a consortium of 17 Indian banks by his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The banks had been able to recover only Rs 155 crore. Despite multiple injunctions, Mallya failed to appear before investigators — and then flew out of India.