On Saturday, 1st May 2021, people familiar with development of the case said that, Nirav Modi, a fugitive businessman, filed his initial grounds for an appeal against his extradition to India in the UK High Court of Justice, on Wednesday.
Modi’s appeal is against the Westminster Magistrate Court’s directing his extradition to India, which was held on 25th February, and also against the approval made by UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel.
Two months after the Court found him guilty of fraud and money laundering in the Punjab National scam case, Patel approved his extradition.
His legal team said they are preparing perfected grounds of appeal and they will be filed soon and there are initial grounds of appeal. His original contention that he will not get a fair trial in India and that he is being targeted due to political reasons, was put down by the Court.
While ordering his extradition in February in 25th February, Westminster district judge Sam Goozee said, Modi has a case to answer in India as he had defrauded the public sector bank, laundered the money taken from it and conspired to destroy evidence and intimidate evidence, along with his brother Nehal Modi.
It was observed by Goozee that, the circulation of pearls, diamonds and gold between Modi’s firms and Dubai and Hong Kong based dummy companies was not genuine business and that these companies were used to transfer funds generated in the guise of sale, purchase/export, import of goods colloquially referred to as round tripping transactions.
Nirav Modi is the second high profile economic offender after the former liquor baron Vijay Mallya, whose extradition has been cleared by a Trial Court in the UK.
In April 2020, Mallya lost his appeal against extradition and any opportunity to approach the UK Supreme Court the next month but, the British Government has claimed that his extradition is held up due to a “confidential legal issue”.
Since March 19th, 2019, Nirav Modi has been lodged in Wandsworth prison on the outskirts of London when he was arrested on the basis of India’s extradition request.