Vijay Mallya's hop from jail to bail has Twitterati in splitsVijay Mallya

Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested in London on Tuesday in a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate, before being released on bail by Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The fact that Mallya got bail in less than half an hour set the ball rolling for Twitter to make hilarious jokes. Some even compared his situation with Honeypreet Insan who, too was arrested on the same day.

Here are some of the tweets...

The 61-year-old flamboyant businessman, already out on bail on an extradition warrant executed by the Metropolitan Police earlier this year, was released on the same bail conditions as before to appear for his trial on December 4.

Outside the courtroom, Mallya said that has "done nothing wrong" and described the allegations against him as "fabricated".
"I deny all allegations that have been made and I will continue to deny them," he said. "I have not eluded any court. If it is my lawful duty to be here, I'm happy to be here," he said, adding, "I've given enough evidence to prove my case."

The judge, Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot, said that Mallya has been freed on the "same bail conditions as before" which he must abide by. Earlier, the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which is arguing the case against Mallya on behalf of the Indian government, had confirmed the arrest. "Vijay Mallya has been arrested on money laundering charges and will be appearing in court today," a CPS spokesperson said.

Sources in New Delhi said the arrest was pursuant to the extradition request made by the Indian government based on money laundering charges against Mallya. The case is being probed by the ED and the central probe agency has already filed a charge sheet against him and others in a Mumbai court.

Arbuthnot has been hearing Mallya's extradition case at Westminster Magistrates' Court on his previous arrest warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April. He had been arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on behalf of the Indian authorities on April 18. He had attended a central London police station for his arrest and was released on conditional bail a few hours later after providing a bail bond worth 650,000 pounds, assuring the court of abiding by all conditions associated with extradition proceedings, such as the surrender of his passport and a ban on him possessing any travel documents.

Mallya's trial, in that case, is scheduled for two weeks, starting December 4. The embattled businessman, who has been based in the UK since he fled India in March last year, is wanted in India for his erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines' default on loans worth nearly Rs 9,000 crore. It remains to be seen if both cases will be clubbed together, which may lead to a delay in the trial date.

-with agency inputs

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