PNB scam: UK court rejects Nirav Modi’s plea against extradition to India

NEW DELHI: In a fresh setback to Nirav Modi, a UK court on Wednesday rejected the fugitive diamantaire’s appeal against his extradition to India in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. Nirav, when extradited, will fraud and money laundering charges for his role in the multi-crore fraud.
Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay, who presided over the appeal hearing earlier this year, delivered the verdict.
The 51-year-old businessman, who remains behind bars at Wandsworth prison in south-east London, had been granted permission to appeal against District Judge Sam Goozee’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruling in favour of extradition last February.

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 “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.
Nirav Modi is the subject of two sets of criminal proceedings, with the CBI case relating to a large-scale fraud upon PNB through the fraudulent obtaining of letters of undertaking (LoUs) or loan agreements, and the ED case relating to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud. He also faces two additional charges of “causing the disappearance of evidence” and intimidating witnesses or “criminal intimidation to cause death”, which were added to the CBI case.

A special court had earlier allowed the ED to confiscate around 39 properties of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi worth Rs 500 crore.
In June 2020, in the first order of confiscation under the Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) Act, 2018, the court had directed that Modi’s properties be attached by the ED. However, it had exempted properties secured to PNB and a consortium of banks either through mortgage, hypothecation or personal guarantee.
Nirav Modi was declared an FEO in December 2019.

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