UK home secretary approves Nirav extradition to India

UK home secretary Priti Patel has ordered the extradition to India of Punjab National Bank scam accused billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi.

Nirav (50) is currently lodged at Wandsworth prison in London. India wants to extradite him to stand trial to face charges of defrauding PNB of Rs 6,498 crore, of laundering the proceeds and interfering with witnesses and evidence.

District judge Sam GoozĂ©e had on February 25 sent Nirav’s case to Patel to make a decision on whether to order extradition, saying he was satisfied there was a “prima facie” case, meaning there is evidence upon which Nirav could be convicted at trial in India. He also said that his extradition would be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and it would not be oppressive to extradite him despite his deteriorating mental health.

A UK home office spokesperson said: “The extradition order was signed on April 15.” Nirav has 14 days to apply for permission to appeal to the UK high court. He may seek leave to appeal against both the decisions of the district judge and of the home secretary.

If permission is granted, the high court will go on to consider the appeal. If there is no application to appeal, he must be extradited within 28 days of the secretary of state’s decision to order extradition. Appeals to the Supreme Court can only be made if the high court has certified that the case involves a point of law of general public importance.

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