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In Nirav Modi extradition case, India’s paperwork under focus in London court

The quality of paperwork provided by India in the Nirav Modi extradition case will be under focus during a case management hearing in the Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday, days after he was denied bail by the same court.

world Updated: May 29, 2019 17:17 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Nirav Modi was denied bail on the third occasion during the last hearing, when the judge sought the papers to be ‘perfectly paginated’.
Nirav Modi was denied bail on the third occasion during the last hearing, when the judge sought the papers to be ‘perfectly paginated’.(Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint file photo)
         

The quality of paperwork provided by India in the Nirav Modi extradition case will be under focus during a case management hearing in the Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday, days after he was denied bail by the same court.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian government in UK courts, assured chief judge Emma Arbuthnot at the May 8 hearing that the paperwork would be submitted to the required standard by the hearing on May 30.

Modi was denied bail on the third occasion during the last hearing, when the judge sought the papers to be ‘perfectly paginated’. He remains in custody in the Wandsworth jail in west London.

The papers are expected to substantiate India’s charges against Modi, who is wanted to face charges of fraud related to a Mumbai branch of the Punjab National Bank running into thousands of crores.

Claire Montgomery, Modi’s lawyer who also represented controversial businessman Vijay Mallya in the same court, remarked at an earlier hearing that the documents on Modi submitted by New Delhi “made me cry”.

The quality of evidence and documents submitted by India has long been an issue.

In previous extradition cases, bundles of poorly written FIRs and documents – many hand-written – used to arrive from India; many were either unintelligible or were of poor evidential equality, resulting in India’s cases invariably falling through in British courts.

This changed for the better in the Mallya case, when thousands of pages of documents were submitted. Officials associated with the case admit it was a ‘learning exercise’ for ministries, CBI and others, when there was rare ‘joined-up thinking’ and attention to detail in various quarters in New Delhi and London.

However, as recent remarks in court during Modi’s bail hearings reveal, the quality of paperwork remains a challenge for New Delhi.

Also read | Three luxury London homes of foreign politician ‘frozen’

First Published: May 29, 2019 16:39 IST

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