Jeweller Nirav Modi, wanted for fraud and money laundering in the ₹ 14,000-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam, can be extradited to India, a UK judge ruled today. The UK court dismissed the arguments of his “mental health concerns,” saying they are not unusual in a man in his circumstances.
“I am satisfied that Nirav Modi’s extradition to India is in compliance per human rights,” said District Judge Samuel Goozee, adding that he had the right to appeal the order. While today’s order takes Nirav Modi a step closer to extradition, it may take months yet to wade through appeals, as it has been seen in the case of another high-profile accused, liquor baron Vijay Mallya. The district judge at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court Samuel Goozee said that there is no evidence to suggest he would not receive a fair trial in India. He made it clear that he felt the case for the jeweller to face trial in India was strong and that Nirav Modi had clear links with “other connivers” including bank officials in faked Letters of Undertaking that facilitated huge unpaid loans. The order will be sent back to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for a sign-off.
Nirav Modi, 49, appeared via video conferencing from Wandsworth Prison in south-west London at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court. He was arrested in 2019 from a metro station in London on an extradition warrant. His multiple attempts at securing bail were repeatedly turned down as he was deemed a flight risk.