PNB scam: The UK High Court on Wednesday dismissed fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s appeal and ordered his extradition to India. Nirav Modi is facing a fraud and money laundering probe by the
Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The UK Court said that extraditing Nirav Modi won’t be unjust or oppressive.
Modi is a prime accused in the Rs 13,500 crore PNB bank fraud case. Today’s verdict was pronounced by Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay, who presided over the appeal hearing earlier this year.
Nirav Modi was arrested in London in March 2019 at India’s request. Since then, he has been lodged at the Wandsworth prison in south-east London. Last February, the fugitive business lost his case after District Judge Sam Goozee’s Westminster Magistrates court ruled in favor of his extradition to India.
However, he was granted permission to appeal against the judgment. His appeal was on the grounds of his mental health.
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 be “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.
Modi is currently undergoing extradition proceedings in the UK.
So far, the ED, which is probing the money laundering case, has carried out a series of attachments of assets belonging to Modi.
In July this year, the ED provisionally attached gems and jewellery, and bank balances amounting to USD 30.98 million and HKD 5.75 million, equivalent to Rs 253.62 crore (as of 22 July) in the case of Nirav Modi group of companies in Hong Kong, SAR, China.
Before this attachment, the ED had attached movable and immovable assets of Nirav Modi and associates to the tune of Rs 2396.45 crore in India and abroad. With the July attachment, the total seizure of assets went to Rs 2650.07 crore.
The ED initiated the money laundering probe on the basis of an FIR filed by the CBI under Sections 420, 467, 471, and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
(With inputs from PTI)