The UK court handling extradition case of former liquor baron Vijay Mallya has reported to have rejected two different extradition requests by Indian authorities in the last couple of weeks. British-Indian couple Jatinder Kumar Angurala and wife Asha Rani Angurala are sought by the Indian government for alleged fraud of approximately £24,000 between 1990 and 1993. Jatinder was a branch manager of the Bank of India in Jalandhar at the time. Chief Magistrate in the Westminster Magistrates Court, Emma Arbuthnot turned down the request “by reason of passage of time” on October 12.
The court called Angurala “a man of good character”, noting that he sent British postal orders to the bank in Jalandhar to repay several staff loans. It also recalled that an Indian judge had noted in 2001 that neither the bank, nor the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) made any efforts to nab him, when his postal orders were received. “During the two or three years leading up to 2001, the trial of the co-defendants is taking place (in India). They are blaming Mr Angurala in particular for the fraud and the focus inevitably must have been on his whereabouts. The CBI must have been all too aware at that point, that he was not before the court as the others were,” Arbuthnot said. She pointed that the Indian judge had criticised the CBI and the bank for not nabbing the accused when he sent the orders.
“I do not accept the CBI would not have known about this criticism, in 2001 it was in possession of the RP's (Requested Person's) address and this was the time that this court would have expected them to obtain warrants of arrest from the CBI court which would have led to a request. In my view there was no valid reason for this not being done until 2014. Although the CBI received more information on the RPs addresses…in my view it had sufficient information before then for an attempt to be made to arrest the RPs in London.”
“I find I am not sure he is a fugitive and his extradition is barred by reason of passage of time as I find it would be unjust and oppressive to him by reason of the quarter century that has passed since the alleged offence,” Arbuthnot added. Currently, seven Indian extradition requests remain pending with Britain, including Rajesh Kapoor, Tiger Hanif, Atul Singh, Raj Kumar Patel, Sanjeev Kumar Chawla, Shaik Sadiq, and Mallya.