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Diamond Merchant Nirav Modi loses appeal, UK HC orders fugitive Nirav Modi’s extradition to India

New Delhi: On Wednesday, The High Court in London ordered diamond merchant Nirav Modi's extradition to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering, amounting to an estimated USD 2 billion in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam case. The High Court of Britain (UK) has given the green signal to send Nirav Modi to India. Britain's High Court rejected the petition, which had appealed to stop the extradition of the fugitive businessman.

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: On Wednesday, The High Court in London ordered diamond merchant Nirav Modi’s extradition to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering, amounting to an estimated USD 2 billion in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam case. The High Court of Britain (UK) has given the green signal to send Nirav Modi to India. Britain’s High Court rejected the petition, which had appealed to stop the extradition of the fugitive businessman. The court said that the extradition of Nirav Modi is not unjust in any way.

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Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay, who presided over the appeal hearing earlier this year, delivered the verdict. Judge Sam Goozee’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court order from last year in favour of extradition was “sound”. The 51-year-old businessman, who remains behind bars at Wandsworth prison in south-east London, had been granted permission to appeal against District Judge Sam Goozee’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruling in favour of extradition last February.

Nirav Modi had appealed against his extradition to India on mental health grounds. However, the Royal Courts of Justice noted that extraditing Nirav Modi wouldn’t be “unjust or oppressive”.
The leave to appeal in the High Court was granted 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 Modi due to his mental state and Section 91 of the Extradition Act 2003, also related to mental ill health.

“Pulling these various strands together and weighing them in the balance so as to reach an overall evaluative judgment on the question raised by Section 91, we are far from satisfied that Mr Modi’s mental condition and the risk of suicide are such that it would be either unjust or oppressive to extradite him,” the ruling states.

Modi is the subject of two sets of criminal proceedings, with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case relating to a large-scale fraud upon PNB through the fraudulent obtaining of letters of undertaking (LoUs) or loan agreements, and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case relating to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.

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He also faces two additional charges of “causing the disappearance of evidence” and intimidating witnesses or “criminal intimidation to cause death”, which were added to the CBI case.

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