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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya’s extradition cases pushed to next year

Modi is wanted in India in connection with major financial offences to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore related to a Mumbai branch of the state-owned Punjab National Bank.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2019 00:03 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Nirav Modi, 48, who is lodged in the Wandsworth jail in southwest London, has been denied bail on four occasions
Nirav Modi, 48, who is lodged in the Wandsworth jail in southwest London, has been denied bail on four occasions (HT File Photo )
         

The trial in the Westminster Magistrates Court on India’s request to extradite fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi will be held in May next year while the high court of England and Wales is scheduled to hear businessman Vijay Mallya’s appeal against his extradition in February 2020, court officials said.

Modi, 48, who is lodged in the Wandsworth jail in southwest London, has been denied bail on four occasions and 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.

Several remand and case management hearings will be held in the magistrates court before Modi’s trial is held over five days in May.

Modi is wanted in India in connection with major financial offences to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore related to a Mumbai branch of the state-owned Punjab National Bank. Indian agencies have been seeking Mallya’s extradition for alleged money laundering and fraud after he flew to London in March 2016 as banks closed in on him to recover Rs 9,000 crore in loans and interest his grounded Kingfisher Airlines owed them.

Mallya’s case has progressed from the magistrates court to the home secretary, who needs to order the extradition. The high court upheld Mallya’s application to appeal against the order on the grounds that the magistrates court had erred in December 2018 to conclude that there is a prima facie against him in India.

Mallya’s appeal will be heard over three days from February 11, according to the high court’s schedule.

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.

Modi’s and Mallya’s are among several Indian extradition requests, including that of suspected cricket bookie Sanjeev Chawla, whose case has also progressed through the magistrates court and the home secretary, and is awaiting a ruling in the high court on his application to appeal.