• Tuesday, December 06, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Testimonies of two psychiatric experts were crucial in clinching case: India’s premier investigating agency on Nirav Modi extradition

By: Mohnish Singh

Testimonies by two psychiatric experts during final hearings in the Nirav Modi extradition matter before the High Court of Justice in London were crucial in debunking his poor psychological state argument and clinching the case for India, officials said.

The fugitive diamond merchant on Wednesday lost his appeal against extradition to India on mental health grounds as the High Court ruled that his risk of suicide is not such that it would be either unjust or oppressive to extradite him to face charges of fraud and money laundering.

During the final hearing, the experts – Professor Andrew Forrester of Cardiff University and Professor Seena Fazel of the University of Oxford – gave evidence before the High Court which dismissed the appeal filed by Nirav Modi, the officials said.

“Today’s judgement of the UK High Court is a significant achievement in the context of CBI’s efforts to curb corruption and is a reminder that fugitives, who have eluded the process of law after commission of large value frauds, cannot consider themselves above the process merely because they have changed jurisdictions,” the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), premier investigating agency of India said in a statement.

The agency said it took painstaking efforts in effectively presenting the facts before the court, especially since Nirav Modi had raised various issues with regard to prison conditions, and the availability of health facilities in India among other arguments.

It acknowledged the painstaking and continuous efforts made by the counsel of the Crown Prosecution Service in forcefully presenting the Government of India’s case.

It also lauded the efforts of various government agencies, especially officers of the High Commission of India, London, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs in coordinating the extradition trial, timely submission of evidence and assurances, and prompt follow-up of the case at all stages.

Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay, who presided over the appeal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice earlier this year, said in their verdict that District Judge Sam Goozee’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court order from last year in favour of extradition was “sound”.

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