ANI Photo | Judgement a reminder that fugitives can’t consider themselves above the process, says CBI after UK court clears Nirav Modi’s extradition

New Delhi [India], November 10 (ANI): Describing the judgement of the UK High Court in connection with the fugitive diamond businessman Nirav Modi’s appeal against extradition to India, as a “significant achievement” in CBI’s efforts to curb corruption, the central probe agency on Wednesday that it is a reminder that the fugitives, who have eluded the process of law cannot consider themselves above the process.
The High Court of London (United Kingdom) on Wednesday dismissed the appeal of Nirav Modi, who is wanted in India to face money laundering and fraud cases.
“Today’s judgement of UK High Court is a significant achievement in the context of CBI’s efforts to curb corruption and is a reminder that fugitives, who have eluded the process of law after commission of large value frauds, cannot consider themselves above the process merely because they have changed jurisdictions,” the CBI said in a statement.
“The CBI took painstaking efforts in effectively presenting the facts before the Hon’ble Court, especially since Nirav Modi had raised various issues with regard to prison conditions, availability of health facilities in India etc,” it added.
Nirav Modi was arrested on March 19, 2019, in the UK on the basis of an extradition request of the Government of India to face trial in a multi-crore bank fraud case in India. After his arrest, he filed several bail petitions which were strongly opposed and all the bail petitions were rejected by the courts in the UK.
On February 25, 2021, the District Judge, of Westminster Magistrates’ Court had handed down his decision and found that there were no bars on the extradition of Nirav Modi and the Court had sent the case to the Secretary of State, UK On April 15, 2021, the Secretary of State ordered Nirav Modi’s extradition to India. Nirav Modi filed an application before the High Court of Justice, London seeking permission to appeal on multiple grounds.
On August 9, 2021, the High Court of Justice, London gave Nirav Modi permission to appeal on the following two grounds which included his extradition would be incompatible with his convention rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and it would be unjust or oppressive within the meaning of Section 91 of UK Extradition Act 2003 to extradite him by virtue of his physical and mental condition.
All other grounds of appeal were rejected.
“During the Appeal hearing before the High Court of Justice, the Government of India filed several assurances and written submissions, besides the oral arguments made by the Senior Counsel of Crown Prosecution Service on its behalf. The appeal was heard on 14th December, 2021, and 28th June, 2022 and the final hearing was held on 11th & 12th October 2022,” the statement said.

“During the final hearing, two psychiatric experts viz. Professor Andrew Forrester of Cardiff University, on behalf of the Appellant and Professor Seena Fazel of the University of Oxford, on behalf of the Government of India also gave evidence before the Hon’ble High Court. Hon’ble High Court of Justice, King’s Bench Division, handed down its judgment today and dismissed the appeal filed by Nirav Modi,” it added.
The CBI said that it had registered the case on January 31, 2018, against the partner of three private firms and others including then officials of Punjab National Bank (PNB) on a complaint from Punjab National Bank on the allegations that the accused had hatched a criminal conspiracy amongst themselves to defraud the Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 6,498 crores (approx) by fraudulently issuing Letters of Undertaking.
“During the investigation, CBI conducted searches at 42 premises and arrested fifteen persons. A large number of witnesses were examined and voluminous documents were collected. Investigation revealed that the accused officials of the Punjab National Bank, in conspiracy with said owners of the firms and others, had fraudulently issued a large number of LoUs to overseas banks for obtaining Buyer’s credit in favour of said three firms without any sanctioned limit or cash margin and without making entries in the CBS system of the bank. The investigation further revealed that the fraud was allegedly perpetrated despite the circulars issued by RBI,” it said.
The first chargesheet was filed on May 14, 2018, against 25 accused including Nirav Modi. The second charge sheet was filed on December 20, 2019, against 30 accused including 25 charge-sheeted earlier in respect of 150 outstanding fraudulent LOUs which had resulted in the wrongful loss of Rs.6805 crore (approx.) to PNB including the interest and other charges paid by the bank to overseas banks which had extended the buyer’s credit to the said 3 accused firms of Nirav Modi on the strength of the fraudulent LOUs of PNB.
It was also alleged that Nirav Modi in conspiracy with other accused had siphoned off the funds obtained as buyer’s credit through dummy companies established by him in Dubai and Hong Kong which were shown as exporters of Pearls to 3 Nirav Modi firms and importers of Pearl studded jewellery from the said firms of Nirav Modi.
“Nirav Modi had escaped from India on January 1, 2018, before the registration of the case in CBI. A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued by the trial court against Nirav Modi on May 23, 2018, and a red notice was also issued against him on June 29, 2018, by Interpol. The first extradition request was sent by CBI to the United Kingdom for the extradition of Nirav Modi in August 2018 for defrauding Punjab National Bank,” the statement said.
After the second chargesheet was filed on December 20, 2019, additional evidence were submitted to the Court in London for the total fraud amount of Rs 6,805 crore (approx.).
“In addition, a second extradition request for the offences of intimidating the witnesses and destruction of evidence was also submitted to the UK government. The extradition proceedings against Nirav Modi were initiated before the Westminster Magistrate Court in London,” it said.
In extradition requests, CBI submitted voluminous oral and documentary evidence to substantiate the charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust, criminal misconduct by public servants, destruction of evidence and criminal intimidation of evidence. The hearing of the first extradition request was held in Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London in May 2020 and the hearing of the second extradition request was held in September 2020. (ANI)

This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.

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