India’s relentless efforts to extradite the two fugitive business tycoons, Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya has been deferred. Now Nirav Modi’s trial in the Westminster Magistrates Court on India’s request to extradite the fugitive diamantaire will be held in May next year. Meanwhile, the high court of England and Wales is scheduled to hear the liquor baron, Vijay Mallya’s appeal against his extradition in February 2020, reports Hindustan Times.
Fugitive businessman and prime accused in the Rs 14,000 crore PNB scam, Nirav Modi is currently lodged in the Wandsworth jail in southwest London and has been denied bail on four occasions. Modi had been arrested in London on March 20, 17 months after he fled India. The Westminster Court has issued the arrest warrant against Nirav Modi as part of processing this extradition request.
Several remand and case management hearings will be held in the magistrate’s court prior to Modi’s trial which will be held over five days in May.
Nirav Modi, his wife Ami Modi, brother Nishal Modi, and uncle Mehul Choksi are accused defrauding Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 14,356 crore by obtaining Letter of Undertaking without furnishing any guarantee. Mehul Choksi is living in Antigua having taken citizenship of the country.
Vijay Mallya (63), remains on bail after his application for permission to appeal against the home secretary’s order to extradite him was upheld on July 2.
The Indian authorities are trying hard to get Vijay Mallya extradited to India in his loan defaulting case. In February 2019 the UK Home Secretary has signed the order to extradite fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to India.
In December last year, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court had ordered the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya after a trial that lasted over a year, and the decision was pending with the UK government.
According to the high court’s schedule, Mallya’s appeal will be heard over three days from February 11. Mallya’s claim has been that the inability to repay loans taken from Indian banks was due to a business failure, which was contested by the Indian government through the Crown Prosecution Service. He has also repeatedly offered to repay the loans.
Vijay Mallya is wanted by investigating agencies in India on the charges of Money Laundering, Fraud and violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). His Kingfisher airlines owe around ₹9000 crore of debt to creditors, and Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) has attached a significant amount of properties belonging to Mallya.
Nirav Modi and Vijaya Mallya are amongst the several high-value Indian extradition requests.