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Monday, August 02, 2021

UK High Court rejects Nirav Modi’s plea against extradition

A High Court official confirmed that the permission to appeal was "rejected on paper" on Tuesday, which leaves the 50-year-old jeweller with a chance to make his case at a brief oral hearing in court.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: June 24, 2021 3:29:54 am
Nirav Modi, Nirav Modi fugitive economic offender, Nirav modi PNB scam, PNB fraud, Punjab National Bank, Nirav Modi Bombay high courtThe ED, in a statement, said the money did not belong to Purvi and the account was being operated by Nirav Modi. (File)

A UK high court Wednesday rejected the application of fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi against his extradition to India.

According to news agency PTI, a senior UK high court official said Modi’s permission to appeal against extradition “was rejected on paper”. Modi, sources said, will now have the option to file an application within five days for an oral hearing, with a renewed “leave to appeal” application, for a judge to determine if it can proceed to a full appeal hearing.

Last year, fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya too had made a similar application for an oral hearing against his extradition to India in an alleged case of bank fraud. While the high court did not give Mallya the permission to appeal, his extradition is pending as the UK government is looking into a confidential matter pertaining to the promoter of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are accused of routing transactions of about Rs 13,600 crore through fraudulent LoUs (Letters of Understanding) of Punjab National Bank (PNB). Modi left India in the first week of January 2018, before the PNB scam came out in public. In March 2019, Modi was arrested in the United Kingdom and is currently lodged at Wandsworth prison in London.

On February 25, a UK court had ordered Modi’s extradition holding that the evidence against him was prima facie sufficient for the same. In April, the UK government had also approved his extradition to India.

In India, Modi is under the scanner of multiple investigate agencies such as the CBI, Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax and Serious Fraud Investigation Office. The CBI case pertains to the alleged fraud at PNB through issuance of fraudulent LoUs. The ED case relates to the laundering of the proceeds of the alleged fraud at PNB.

Based on the ED prosecution complaint, Modi is also facing charges of “causing” evidence tampering and “criminal intimidation” of witnesses.

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