UK Court Hears Nirav Modi’s Extradition Appeal on Mental Health Grounds
The High Court in London on Tuesday began hearing Nirav Modi’s appeal on the grounds of his mental health against 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. Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay presided over the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice to determine whether District Judge Sam Goozee’s February ruling in favour of extradition was incorrect to overlook the diamond merchant’s high risk of suicide.
The court heard of an additional assurance from the Indian authorities on November 13, which reiterates previous commitments of adequate specialist medical care and an ambulance at hand were Nirav to be extradited to Mumbai. He is at high risk of suicide already and his condition is likely to deteriorate further in Mumbai, Edward Fitzgerald QC argued as he opened the appeal on behalf of Nirav – who remains behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London since his arrest in March 2019.
Fitzgerald went on to lay out before the two-judge bench that the Indian government assurances of medical assistance at Barrack 12 of Mumbai Central Prison on Arthur Road, where the accused is to be held on being extradition, would not be adequate given the certainty of deterioration in his mental health. He also sought an adjournment in view of the short time-frame to study the new assurance from India, received last month. The judges referred to the…