The only remedy left for fugitive diamond businessman Nirav Modi to prevent his extradition to India is to seek permission to appeal against his order in the country’s top court, a legal expert has said.
Nirav Modi has reportedly filed an application in the High Court in London, seeking permission to appeal against his extradition order, two weeks after a UK court dismissed his plea against extradition back to India.
“He (Nirav Modi) will be approaching the Supreme Court that is the only remedy left. Even before he goes to the Supreme court, he will have to take leave from the High Court of the UK to have a determination on the point that the issue involved is of very high public importance. Only then he can approach the Supreme Court, that too within 14 days,” said advocate Arpit Batra.
On the validity of Nirav’s grounds for his plea, the lawyer said, “Yes, …the grounds are valid but the extradition court in the UK, as well as the High Court, had boldly stated in their order sheets that he may be suffering from the tendency of suicide or he may be into depression but the threshold is not so high that it will be unjust to send him to India.”
On changes of Nirav getting relief from the UK SC, Batra said, “If you see the high court order, we don’t see much in his hands but he is trying to make an attempt. Past orders do not favour him in any case. He has been languishing in jail for a long time.”
Next course of remedy, the lawyer answered, “Once the appeal is dismissed by the supreme court, Nirav Modi can approach the European Court of Human Rights. Post-Brexit, the European court can still take the matter.”
On November 9, Nirav Modi lost his appeal against extradition to India with a United Kingdom court dismissing his plea. Earlier, the High Court of London (United Kingdom) dismissed the appeal of Nirav Modi, who is wanted in India to face money laundering and fraud cases.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) later welcomed the decision of the UK High Court’s decision to reject Nirav’s plea.
“India has been vigorously pursuing the extradition of economic fugitives so that they face justice in India. We welcome the decision of the UK High Court. We want to bring him to India as soon as possible,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during a press conference.
Nirav Modi, who is a prime accused in the $2 billion PNB scam, had fled India. He lost his appeal after he had moved the High Court in London against extradition on mental health grounds.
The bench of Justice Stuart Smith and Justice Robert Jay of the High Court said there are “no features of psychotic illness”.
The court rejected Nirav Modi’s counsel’s claims that he will die by suicide due to severe depression and said “Nirav Modi neither is nor is very likely to be at the most severe end of the scale of depressive illness”.
“He has so far displayed no features of psychotic illness. Although he has exhibited persistent suicidal ideation, he has neither attempted suicide or deliberate self-harm nor disclosed plans to do so, except in the most vague and general way,” the court said.
The High Court also noted the steps taken to render Barrack 12 safe and to ensure that there is effectively constant monitoring to reduce both the risk of attempted suicide and the prospect of suicide being committed.
The Court noted that the Government of India sought the appellant, Nirav Deepak Modi.
Nirav Modi last year had moved the UK High Court against District Judge Sam Goozee’s Westminster Magistrate Court ruling in favour of extradition. He is presently behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in southeast London.