London: The High Court in London on Wednesday rejected the appeal of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi and ordered his extradition to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering, amounting to an estimated USD 2 billion in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam case.
The verdict was delivered by Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay, who presided over the appeal hearing earlier this year.
Modi, who remains at the Wandsworth prison in south-east London, was granted permission to appeal against District Judge Sam Goozee’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruling in favor of extradition last February. The 51-year-old’s appeal was on the grounds of his mental health. The leave to appeal in the High Court was granted on two grounds – under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) to hear arguments if it would “unjust or oppressive” to extradite Modi due to his mental state and Section 91 of the Extradition Act 2003, also related to mental ill health.
Modi is currently undergoing extradition proceedings in the UK. He was booked in the alleged Rs 13,500-crore PNB fraud case, where it was claimed that companies controlled by him had benefited from the issuance of fraudulent letters of undertaking from the bank. He faces two additional charges of “causing the disappearance of evidence” and intimidating witnesses or “criminal intimidation to cause death”, which were added to the CBI case.