Diamond magnate Nirav Modi, accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case, suffered a setback in his legal battle against his extradition to India. The High Court in London denied Nirav Modi permission to appeal against his extradition order in the UK Supreme Court. In his appeal, Nirav Modi argued that there was a high risk of suicide if he was extradited to India. He has so far denied any wrongdoing in the PNB fraud case.
In 2018, Nirav Modi fled India before details of his alleged involvement in large-scale fraud at the PNB became public.
Pronouncing the judgement order at the London court, Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay refused Nirav Modi’s application of an appeal against the extradition to India.
“The Appellant’s [Nirav Modi] application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court is refused,” the bench said. The High Court refused Nirav Modi’s application to certify a “point of law of general public importance”. The court also imposed costs of more than £150,000 ( ₹1.53 crore).
A month ago, Nirav Modi lost the appeal on mental health grounds. During the hearing last month, the two judges had ruled that his risk of suicide is not as such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite to India in the PNB loan scam case.
On the “risk of suicide”, Judge Jeremy Stuart-Smith had order that Nirav Modi could be kept safe at Arthur Road jail in Mumbai where he would be detained after being extradited to India. The judge said while the risk could be high, but “the arrangements at the Mumbai prison will enable the authorities to cope properly with Mr Nirav Modi’s condition”.
The decision by the London court will raise India’s efforts to have Nirav Modi extradited to India to face charges in the multi-crore loan scam case. Nirav Modi is accused of defrauding India’s second largest bank Punjab National Bank of around $2 billion using credit guarantees for his diamonds business.
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