UK home secretary Priti Patel approves Nirav Modi’s extradition
Nirav Modi now has 14 days to seek leave to appeal to the High Court. He said the district judge and the interior minister can apply for leave to appeal the decisions, the people said.
About two months later, a UK court found fugitive businessman Nirav Modi guilty of fraud and money laundering in connection with the National Bank of the Punjab scam and ordered his extradition to India, UK Home Secretary Preeti Patel approving extradition. with development.
The verdict is like a bullet in the arm of the Indian government, which is trying to bring the fugitive economic offenders back to India, but Nirav Modi has the right to appeal his extradition to the High Court, which his lawyer says is the next the course of action. Zulfikar Memon, who represents Nirav Modi, told HT – “We will now go to the High Court to challenge the order of the Westminster Magistrate Court.”
A spokesperson for the UK Home Office said: “On February 25, the district judge ruled in the Nirav Modi extradition case. The extradition order was signed on April 15. ”
Nirav Modi now has 14 days to seek leave to appeal to the High Court. He may seek to appeal both the district judge’s and the interior minister’s decisions, the people said.
Ordering his extradition on February 25, Westminster District Judge Sam Gozzi said Modi had a case to be answered in India as he defrauded a public sector bank with his brother Nehal Modi and others. evidence and intimidate witnesses.
The judge observed that the circulation of pearls, diamonds, and gold between the Nirav Modi companies and the dummy companies based in Dubai and Hong Kong was not a real business and the companies were used for sale-purchase or the transfer of money generated under the guise of exports. In general, talking about goods is called a round-trip transaction.
Modi’s argument that he did not get a fair trial in India and that he is being targeted by the court for political reasons.
Following the case, a Central Investigation Bureau (CBI) official said: “The signing of the extradition order by the UK government is a positive development.” Even if he goes to a high court, he gives no chance because there is very strong evidence against him. ”
Nirav Modi has been held in Wandsworth Prison on the outskirts of London since March 19, 2019, when he was arrested based on an extradition request from India.
Modi is the second leading economic criminal after former liquor businessman Vijay Mallya, whose extradition was approved by a lower court in the UK. Mallya lost his extradition appeal in April 2020, as well as an opportunity to go to the UK Supreme Court next month, but the UK government has claimed his extradition was delayed due to a “ confidential legal issue ”.
Officials familiar with Mallya’s case say he has applied for asylum in Britain and it is not known how long it will take UK authorities to make a decision.
Like Vijay Mallya, investigators from the CBI and the Directorate of Law Enforcement (ED) are confident that the UK High Court will reject Nirav Modi’s plea because there is compelling evidence of fraud and money laundering against him.
January 2018: Nirav Modi escapes with his family to India after a fraud of around Rs 6,498 crore at the Punjab National Bank, while his fellow crime partner, his uncle Mehul Choksi – who snatched another Rs 7,080 crore from the PNB, Antigua And it’s hidden in Barbuda. Choksi’s extradition may take some time.
July 27, 2018: India requested the extradition of Nirav Modi for fraud and money laundering.
March 19, 2019: Nirav Modi is arrested by Scotland Yard and sent to jail, and held in Wandsworth Prison on the outskirts of London. He has never been released on bail for two years.
May 2020: A full hearing relating to Modi’s extradition will begin in the Magistrate Court of Westminster Court.
February 25, 2021: Magistrates’ court orders extradition, claiming that Nirav Modi has a case to answer and that he and his brother, Nehal Modi, and others cheated on a public sector bank, looting money taken and conspiring to destroy evidence and intimidate witnesses. The matter is referred to the UK Home Secretary for consideration. He has two months to decide on the extradition.
April 15, 2021: Well ahead of the two-month deadline, UK Home Secretary Preeti Patel signed the extradition.
During the trial, which lasted over a year, a UK court rejected arguments from Modi’s lawyers and testimony from experts, including retired Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju, that he would benefit from a fair trial in India. and he was leaving. Targeted for political reasons.
Describing Katju’s testimony as not credible, the court said it “identified an open critic with his personal agenda.”
The Court also found that Modi’s extradition within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998 was compatible with Convention rights.
Nirav Modi has 14 days to appeal the Westminster Court verdict and Priti Patel’s approval to the UK High Court.
I leave to appeal is granted, the High Court will hear their arguments and rule on the case. The whole process can take anywhere from six months to a year.
After the decision of the High Court, if it comes in favor of India, it can also go to the Supreme Court, if the High Court allows it. In the case of Vijay Mallya, the British High Court refused him leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.