The British judge hearing the extradition proceedings of fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi on Tuesday ruled that the evidence presented by Indian authorities to establish a prima facie case of fraud and money laundering against a fugitive diamond trader is widely accepted.
London: The British judge hearing the extradition proceedings of fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi on Tuesday ruled that the evidence presented by Indian authorities to establish a prima facie case of fraud and money laundering against a fugitive diamond trader is widely accepted .
District Judge Samuel Gooji heard arguments in favor of and against the admissibility of the statements of some witnesses presented by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate in Westminster magistrate court here.
After hearing the arguments, the judge said that he considered himself bound by the decisions of the British courts in the extradition case of Vijay Mallya, the former head of Kingfisher Airlines. With this, the possibilities of Nirav’s extradition to India have increased. Nirav Modi has been remanded till 1 December. The two sides will hold a final debate on 7 and 8 January and a decision is expected in 2021 a few weeks later.
Nirav Modi’s lawyer, Claire Montgomery QC, tried to counter attack India’s arguments by comparing him with former Indian Navy officer Ravi Shankaran during the hearing of the case. Ravi Shankaran is now an arms dealer who is in the UK and is yet to be extradited.
Despite strong opposition, District Judge Samuel Mark Gooji decided to take the decision in the case of Vijay Mallya, stating that the statement made in a court of India under Section 161 is valid in a UK court.
Nirav Modi is wanted in India to face a case of an estimated Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud scam. The 49-year-old Nirav watched the court proceedings from Wandsworth Jail in south-west London via videolink, where he has been lodged since March 2019.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities, emphasized that the evidence, including the statement of witness under Section 161 of the Indian Penal Procedure Code (CRPC), met the British court’s requirement to determine that Whether or not Nirav Modi has a case to answer before the Indian judicial system. It contended that several PNB employees conspired with Nirav Modi for ‘Letters of Undertaking’ (LOU).