How is Nirav Modi dodging extradition and how can India outwit him?
Nirav Modi, a diamond dealer, was unsuccessful in his attempt to avoid extradition to India. He still has a few choices, though, before being extradited to the nation to face prosecution in the Rs 13,758 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
The extradition of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi to India, who has been missing for more than two years and sought asylum in London, is getting closer. His suicide risk is not sufficient to make extraditing him either unfair or oppressive, the High Court of London found on Wednesday.
District Judge Sam Goozee’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court order from last year supporting extradition, according to the Royal Courts of Justice’s Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay, was “sound,” according to their decision.
The 51-year-old Modi is now being held in Wandsworth Prison in south-west London on allegations of fraud and money laundering in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scandal case, which totals an estimated $2 billion (Rs 13,758 crore).
Nirav Modi has just 14 days to file an appeal if he takes this course of action. It’s not as simple as merely submitting an appeal, though. Only if the High Court concurs that his case involves a legal issue of general public concern will the appeal be allowed to proceed.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which has its headquarters in Strasbourg, France, is the Council of Europe’s supreme court. It guarantees that the rights and protections outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights are respected by the Council of Europe member states.
It’s interesting to note that Modi apparently took this path in 2018. A Financial Times investigation claims that Nirav Modi attempted to request refuge due to what he claimed to be political persecution. In addition, the jeweller reportedly tried to engage a lawyer who may assist him in submitting an asylum application in the UK, according to NDTV. He apparently made contact with two London-area law firms.
However, it is unlikely that Britain will approve this application because India will undoubtedly exert pressure for Nirav Modi’s repatriation. Additionally, failing to do so can lead to tension between the two nations that want to sign the free trade agreement.
The fugitive diamond trader had FIRs filed against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate in May 2018. In March 2019, UK authorities detained him in central London and took him to Wandsworth Prison in southwest London.
His extradition was authorised by the court in February 2021, and the UK government also approved it in April of that same year. However, citing his mental health, his legal team appealed the decision to the High Court of London. His defence team contended that his mental state had gotten worse.