In a deja vu moment, a UK Court Judge, Emma Arbuthnot while hearing the bail plea of fugitive diamantaire, Nirav Modi on Friday, March 29, said in a lighter vein that he could share the same space in jail along with India's liquor baron, Vijay Mallya. Judge, Arbuthnot coincidentally heard Mallya's extradition trial last year when he had filed an application against the order. At that time, the Indian government shared the video of Mumbai's Arthur Road jail where it was planning to lodge the flamboyant businessman with the UK Court. The Judge told the lawyers that "she was getting a sense of deja vu" as she ordered the extradition of Mallya last year.
During the hearing, the judge asked the prosecution if he knows which part of India would Nirav Modi be jailed in. "Do we know which part of India he [Modi] is being sought in," the Judge asked. The Crown Prosecution Service, represented by the Indian government, said that it would be the same Mumbai jail where Vijay Mallya will be held in. To this, Judge, Arbuthnot replied in a light-hearted manner that it could even be the same cell as "we know from the previous video that there is still some space left in that jail".
Mumbai's Arthur Road prison is described as one of the most fortified jails in the country which has also housed the Mumbai, 26/11 attack convict and a Pakistani national, Muhammad Ajmal Kasab. It has been proposed that Vijay Mallya will be kept inside a highly secure barrack of a two-storeyed building of the Arthur Road jail complex. The Indian government recently reviewed the security cover of the Arthur Road jail and submitted the findings along with the video to the UK Court.
Judge, Arbuthnot had sought the footage of Arthur Road prison from the Indian government during the Mallya extradition case. The Indian officials responded by saying that the medical as well security arrangements at the prison are in compliance with the international standards and that Mallya once extradited would get complete security cover.
Both Modi and Mallya are sought by the Indian government in money laundering and fraud cases amounting to billions of dollars. The fugitive billionaires are currently in the UK, however, Narendra Modi government has sought their extradition, the trial cases of which are being heard in the Westminster Magistrates Court.