Mumbai: Vijay Mallya may not exactly wallow in luxury in his new mansion — Barrack no 12 in Arthur Road Jail — but at least his concerns about conditions in Indian prisons will be allayed. Among other fixings, he will have a 40-inch plasma TV in his cell, a walking area outside the barrack, as big as a hotel corridor, a private ‘western’ style toilet and ample light to write his memoirs, if he so desires.
Also, he will not exactly be cramped for space in the cell which is spread in a 300 sq. feet area. As per his express ‘wish,’ he will also have windows which open in the cell but without a view of the British countryside. There will be ample ventilation to ward off the sticky humid Mumbai weather.
The video was played in the London court on Wednesday. When asked for comments after seeing the video, Mallya teasingly said: ‘very impressive.’ Mallya’s lawyer, however, said that they need to visit the prison as he believed that someone has done a ‘clean- up job before the video was shot.’ The lawyer also alleged that the visuals looked falsified with ‘artificial lighting’, add-ing, “It is encased in what is effectively a steel oven. Conditions aren’t humane.”
Mallaya can surely congratulate himself on the barrack no 2 ambience considering that this jail also houses the infamous ‘anda’ cell where Kasab was lodged. But all that can wait until the ruling on whether Mallya can be extradited from the UK or not. The ruling will be given on December 10, England’s Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot has said.
The prosecution told the London court earlier that the 62-year-old businessman has no intention of honouring the guarantees he had given while taking loans for his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The judge, however, said the most important point for her to consider was the prima facie case. ‘‘The prosecution has argued their case. It is now for judges to decide,” was Mallya’s profound comment to reporters outside the court.”