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HomeNews ReportsUK Court clears extradition of fugitive Nirav Modi to India, rejects his appeal

UK Court clears extradition of fugitive Nirav Modi to India, rejects his appeal

While reserving the judgement last month, Justice Robert Jay had said that India is a “friendly foreign power and we have to honour our treaty obligations”.

In a big victory for the Indian government, UK High Court has ordered the extradition of fugitive Nirav Modi to India. The High Court rejected diamond merchant Nirav Modi’s petition against his extradition, paving the way to bring him back to India. A bench of Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay delivered the verdict. Nirav Modi is wanted in India for the $2 billion in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam case.

The High Court had reserved its judgement last month after hearing the arguments. In his argument Nirav Modi had claimed that his depression would worsen if he is sent to the “hostile environment of India”. He had said that politicians have demonised him by prejudging his guilt, and the public and the press also have already declared him guilty.

Modi had also alleged that the condition of jails in India is not good, the same argument used by Vijay Mallya in his extradition case. However, the court had already indicated that the appeal may be rejected, as Justice Robert Jay had said that India is a “friendly foreign power and we have to honour our treaty obligations”.

The court had also said that it will consider the assurances given by the Indian government, rejecting 51-year-old Nirav Modi’s claim that the assurances are not good enough. The Indian government in its argument in the court had given detailed assurances on a fair trial that Modi will face in the country. The govt has also assured daily visit by lawyers and his health check-up and treatment by a multidisciplinary medical team including private doctors.

Nirav Modi is currently lodged at Wandsworth prison in south-east London, and he had approached the High Court challenging the order of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in February this year ordering his extradition to India. He was allowed to appeal the judgement on two grounds, under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) to hear arguments if it would “unjust or oppressive” to extradite him due to his mental state, and Section 91 of the Extradition Act 2003 of the UK, which is related to mental ill health.

Nirav Modi faces a CBI case in India for the large scale fraud done on Punjab National Bank using fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs), and he also faces an ED case for laundering of money obtained through that fraud.

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