Nirav Modi
Nirav Modi

Mumbai/ London: The UK High Court has rejected a plea by fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi (50) seeking permission against his extradition to India to face charges of defrauding Punjab National Bank (PNB) of more than Rs 13,000 crore.

In a major blow to the fugitive diamond billionaire, the court refused to consider Modi's written application to overturn a lower court, meaning that Modi's lawyers will now have to make oral submissions to the court.

London's Westminster Magistrate's Court in February ruled that there were sufficient grounds for Modi to be sent back to India to face charges brought by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel signed off on his extradition on April 15.

Modi is currently held at Wandsworth prison in South London where he has been lodged since his arrest in London in March 2019 in connection with the largest bank fraud perpetrated in India.

The 50-year-old, once the jeweller to some of the biggest and glamorous names in Bollywood and Hollywood, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi are accused of colluding with officials at PNB for the issuance of fraudulent lines of credit.

Modi is also accused of subsequently intimidating witnesses and tampering with evidence.

The UK High Court's decision comes after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) revealed that it had seized assets worth thousands of crores belonging to Nirav Modi and Choksi in India.

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Free Press Journal