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Court to hear Nirav Modi’s extradition appeal

The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian authorities in court, confirmed it will be contesting the appeal on behalf of the Indian government…reports Asian Lite News.

The UK High Court will hear fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s extradition appeal today. Nirav Modi, who remains behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London since his arrest in March 2019, was granted permission to appeal against the Westminster Magistrates’ Court extradition order on mental health and human rights grounds.

High Court judge Martin Chamberlain had ruled on August 9 that arguments presented by Modi’s legal team concerning his “severe depression” and “high risk of suicide” were arguable at a substantial hearing.

“This case is fixed for a one-day hearing on 14th December,” a High Court official said, in reference to the substantial hearing.

The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian authorities in court, confirmed it will be contesting the appeal on behalf of the Indian government.

During the hearing, Nirav’s attorney informed the court that his client probably commit “suicide” if his client would be placed in a Mumbai based court. Subsequently, the court had granted permission to appeal against an earlier ruling on humanitarian grounds.

While hearing the case in August this year, High Court judge Martin Chamberlain proffered the judgement in favour of Modi and said he should be given a substantial hearing to file a petition against the earlier ruling. It is worth mentioning, in February this year, the Westminster court found Nirav in good health and had ruled to hand over him to the Indian government in order to face fraud charges pending in India.

“I will not restrict the basis on which those grounds can be argued, though it seems to me that there should be a particular focus on whether the judge was wrong to reach the conclusion he did, given the evidence as to the severity of the appellant’s [Modi’s] depression, the high risk of suicide and the adequacy of any measures capable of preventing successful suicide attempts in Arthur Road prison,” PTI quoted the court ruling.

If he wins today’s hearing, he cannot be extradited to New Delhi unless and until India gets success in getting approval to appeal at the Apex Court on a point of “law of public importance.”

On the other hand, if he loses, the fugitive businessman can approach the Apex Court on a point of law of public importance. According to UK law, the petitioner must file his appeal in the Supreme Court within 14 days of the last high court judgement.

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