It's business: Pinky Lalwani and Vijay Mallya share more than just a house

Vijay Mallya, Pinky Lalwani and Siddhartha Mallya arrive at Westminster Magistrates Court as his extradition case continues in London (File Photo: AP/PTI)
Reports suggest fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya is expected to tie the knot with his long-time girlfriend and former Kingfisher Airlines air hostess Pinky Lalwani. Lalwani met Mallya when she was hired for the airlines in 2011. Company documents seen by Business Standard show that Mallya is also chairman of a company in which Lalwani is a shareholder. The company, Foresight & Vision Limited, is based in Surrey, UK, and has Lalwani as a shareholder with 1,041 shares along with another person of Indian descent (name withheld).  She is also a director of the company along with another British national. According to documents, 38-year-old Pinky Lalwani currently resides at Vijay Mallya's bungalow, Ladywalk in Hertfordshire village of Tewin. According to reports, this property was previously owned by the father of F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. 

The company's documents also show Vijay Mallya as the chairman of Pinky's business in UK. According to its Articles of Association, “Vijay Mallya will chair directors’ meetings and will be known as the chairman.” It has been a year since she has been a director of the company, having been appointed on 25 May, 2017. Furthermore, the website of this company shows that it sells a series of differently-styled optical accessories such as boutique eyewear, British eyewear, boutique sunglasses among others. Her company's retail outlet is in London. Business Standard tried to call the London office of Lalwani’s company but was unable to get in touch with either its representatives or Lalwani herself. Her enterprise is yet to file its financial statements with British regulators since it started business.

This will be Mallya’s third marriage, after his wedding with childhood sweetheart Rekha Mallya (who is still his wife legally). His first wife was Sameera Tyabjee. Vijay Mallya has three kids from his previous marriages, a son, Siddharth Mallya and two daughters, Leanna and Tanya.

The beleaguered 62-year-old business tycoon's current girlfriend is much younger to him. Once known as the “Branson of Bangalore", Mallya has reportedly been dating Lalwani. According to several media reports, Pinky Lalwani has also been spotted a several times by media on several occasions.

The 'King of Good Times', who is on trial for the Westminster Magistrates’ Court over a possible extradition to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 90 billion, is on bail until April 2. Clare Montgomery, Mallya's counsel in the extradition case, had argued at the last hearing that the evidence that the evidence CPS considered a "blueprint of dishonesty" was the man’s privileged conversation with his lawyer on "legal advice in clear contemplation of litigation", so that should be inadmissible.

According to a Press Trust of India report, on a separate category of evidence presented by the Indian government, Mallya's team questioned the reliability of investigating officers in the case. It cited over 150 pages of near identical material, purportedly witnesses' statement under Section 161 of the Indian Code of Criminal Procedure.

Montgomery said these did not seem to be an account of things that witnesses would say but rather looked like someone else's analysis put in witnesses' mouths," adding that the documents were identically reproduced with not only the same words but also the same typpgraphical errors, reported PTI.

According to a PTI report, CPS will respond against the claim of "absence of a strong prima facie case on grounds of iniquity" after the defence has completed its arguments. The extradition trial aims to lay out a fraud case against Mallya, in the UK since leaving India in March 2016.

Scotland Yard had in April 2017 arrested Mallya on an extradition warrant. He was released on a 650,000-pound bail bond. It is expected that Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot will pronounce her verdict by May 2018.

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