UK High Court on Wednesday refused fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s application to appeal against his extradition to India. Nirav Modi is wanted in India in connection with Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case. Modi, 50, who was arrested in March 2019 and has been held in the Wandsworth prison in south London ever since, was ordered to be extradited by the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on April 15, 2021.
In February, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court cleared Nirav Modi’s extradition, finding him guilty of fraud and money laundering in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam and dismissing his claims that he wouldn’t get a fair trial in India. UK home secretary Priti Patel subsequently approved the extradition in April. Nirav Modi had approached the UK high court to ascertain if there were any grounds for an appeal against Patel’s decision or the Westminster Magistrates’ Court order. This appeal was rejected by a high court judge on Tuesday. People familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity that Tuesday’s decision by the UK high court was just one step in what is set to be a protracted legal process. There is also speculation that Nirav Modi will have the option of approaching the European Court of Human Rights after exhausting all his legal options in the UK.