UK court clears Nirav Modi’s extradition: All you need to know about case, what follows
A UK court on Thursday cleared diamantaire Nirav Modi’s extradition to India as it found him guilty of fraud and money laundering in the Punjab National Bank. Here is all you need to know about the case and what next:
• The court dismissed Modi’s claims that he would not get a fair trial at home as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) provided detailed evidence against the billionaire diamond merchant.
• Modi fled India in January 2018 after siphoning off around ₹6,498 crore.
• He allegedly obtained the amount through fraudulent Letters of Undertaking in the name of several of his companies.
• The court said Modi has a case to answer and added he and his brother, Nehal Modi, and others, defrauded the public sector bank, laundered the money taken from it, and conspired to destroy evidence and intimidate witnesses.
• It has sent the case to UK home secretary Priti Patel to decide whether to order his extradition to India.
• Patel has two months to decide whether to order the extradition.
• Modi can approach the UK high court to appeal against his extradition, though such an appeal would not be heard until after Patel’s decision.
• The government plans to liaise with the UK authorities for Modi’s early extradition.
• India last year secured the extradition of former liquor baron Vijay Mallya. But his extradition has been held up due to secret legal proceedings. Mallya is learnt to have applied for asylum in the UK.
• The court rejected Modi’s lawyers’ argument and the testimony of experts, including retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, that he would not get a fair trial in India and that he was being targeted due to political reasons.
• Describing Katju’s testimony as not reliable, the court said it had the “hallmarks of an outspoken critic with his own personal agenda”.
• The court also said Modi’s extradition is compatible with the Convention Rights within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998.
• The court said that the conditions at Barrack Number 12 in Arthur Road Jail in Maharashtra, where Modi will be held, “are far less restrictive and far more spacious than the current regime he is being held in within the prison estate in our own jurisdiction”.
• It also rejected Modi’s submission that extraditing him in his current mental health would be unjust and oppressive.
• The judgement said that “Indian authorities have the capacity to cope properly with Nirav Modi’s mental health and suicidal risk, bolstered by Nirav Modi being able to access private treatments from clinicians”.