Finally, UK Court Rules Nirav Modi Can Be Extradited To India
London: A UK court on Thursday allowed fugitive Nirav Modi’s extradition to India. The diamond merchant is wanted for fraud and money-laundering in the Rs 14,000-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.
Dismissing Nirav’s mental health concerns, stating that “they are not unusual in a man in his circumstances,” the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled that a prima facie case has been established against him in the case.
The 49-year-old Nirav, who appeared via videolink from Wandsworth Prison in south-west London, was reported to show little emotion as District Judge Samuel Goozee pronounced his judgment at the London court.
The legal battle had been going on for nearly two years.
The judge said that the businessman Modi had conspired to destroy evidence and intimidate witnesses.
“Barrack 12 at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai is fit for Nirav Modi,” the judge observed.
“Nirav Modi will be given adequate medical treatment and mental health care at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai. There is no risk of suicide for Nirav Modi if he is sent to India as he will have access to adequate medical care at Arthur Road jail,” Justice Goozee noted.
Nirav, arrested on an extradition warrant on March 19, 2019, had multiple attempts seeking bail turned down in the past.
There are two ongoing criminal proceedings against Nirav in India. The one by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) relates to the large-scale PNB scam through fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) or loan agreements, while the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case is about laundering of proceeds of that fraud.
He also faces two additional charges of “causing the disappearance of evidence” and intimidating witnesses or “criminal intimidation to cause death”, which were added on to the CBI case.