In a shocking disposition before a London court on Friday, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju alleged that fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi will not get a fair trial if he is extradited back to India.
According to the reports, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju appearing before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, claimed that the judicial system in India has collapsed as investigative agencies such as the CBI and Enforcement Directorate were acting at the behest of political masters.
During the hearing, Katju cited several cases to substantiate his allegations including the 2019 Ayodhya judgement by former chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and his subsequent nomination as a Rajya Sabha MP. Katju also highlighted the post-retirement appointment of judges, media trials and alleged corruption in the judiciary.
Katju also said before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court that the Ayodhya case judgment, which he termed the “most shameful verdict in 50 years”, was nothing but judiciary’s surrender.
Nirav Modi being made a ‘scapegoat’ for economic collapse
The former Supreme Court judge also claimed that Nirav Modi was being made a “scapegoat” for India’s economic collapse in the same way Jews were blamed for the economic troubles in Nazi Germany during the 1930s.
“Even before the corona pandemic the Indian economy was collapsing, GDP is going down, businesses are closing down and hundreds of millions are losing jobs. The BJP has no idea how to solve it so they must find some scapegoat. They want to blame all economic collapse that the government of India has created on Nirav Modi,” former Justice Katju said.
He added that Nirav Modi is BJP’s scapegoat and this is why they are so adamant to get him back and convict him but he will not get a fair trial in India.
Katju also alleged that people were afraid to appear as witnesses for Nirav Modi as Indian government would apply criminal laws against them and they would be put behind bars.
Crown Prosecution Service calls Katju a ‘self publicist’
The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which argued on behalf of the Indian government, countered Katju’s claims that Nirav Modi would not receive a fair trial in India.
Helen Malcolm, the lawyer representing CPS, referred to Katju as “self-publicist” as he gave evidence in the extradition case. Helen asked Katju whether his statements were anything to do with his being a “self-publicist” keen to exploit the high-profile case.
On the final day of a five-day hearing, Justice Samuel Goozee heard Katju’s detailed argument before adjourning the case until November 3.
In May, retired Bombay High Court judge and Congress leader Abhay Thipsay had defended fugitive businessman Nirav Modi in a London court via video conference and claimed that the charges levelled by the CBI against Nirav Modi will not hold in India.
Nirav Modi, his wife Ami Modi, brother Nishal Modi, and uncle Mehul Choksi are accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 14,356 crore by fraudulently obtaining Letter of Undertaking without furnishing any guarantee.