Nirav Modi can be extradited as UK court overrules his suicidal plea
The fugitive diamond businessman from Gujarat, Nirav Modi is now a step closer to being extradited to India from the United Kingdom after a recent ruling by a UK high court overruled his “suicidal tendency” plea to avoid extradition. Modi is wanted by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and ED (Enforcement Directorate) in a bank loan fraud case of Rs 13,500 crore.
Modi had appealed against a district court’s order of extradition, citing mental health grounds. He had argued that he was “suffering from depression and his extradition to India could exacerbate his tendency to commit suicide”. The High Court in London has overruled his plea saying that risk of suicide is not such that it would be rendered as oppressive or not just to extradite him to India to face the charges of money laundering and fraud.
“Pulling these various strands together and weighing them in the balance so as to reach an overall evaluative judgment on the question raised by Section 91, we are far from satisfied that Mr Modi’s mental condition and the risk of suicide are such that it would be either unjust or oppressive to extradite him,” states the ruling. Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay, presided over the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice. “It may be that the main benefit of the appeal has been to obtain the extensive further [Indian government] assurances that we have identified in the course of this judgment, which render the position clear to Modi’s advantage and the District Judge’s decision supportable,” the judges ruled.
Modi is facing charges of money laundering amounting to Rs 13,500 crore in Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam case. The scam is considered to be one of the biggest bank frauds in India wherein Nirav Modi along with his uncle Mehul Choksi had created a complex deception plan through fraudulent LoUs (Letters of Undertaking) to draw over Rs 13,000 crore from PNB through support from some bank officials.