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UK High Court dismisses Nirav Modi extradition appeal

Fugitive Indian diamond merchant Nirav Modi lost his appeal in the High Court in London on November 9, as the court ruled that his risk of suicide is not such that it would be either unjust or oppressive to extradite him to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering.

Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay, who presided over the appeal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice earlier this year, said in their verdict that they are "far from satisfied that Mr Modi’s mental condition and the risk of suicide are such that it would be either unjust or oppressive to extradite him.”

Nirav Modi, who remains behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London since his arrest in March 2019, has recourse to further appeals but the verdict brings his extradition to face the Indian courts a step closer.

The High Court ruling this week accepts that Nirav’s risk of suicide in the event of extradition may be characterised as “high” or “substantial” but concludes that the risk of deterioration of the underlying depression and the risk of suicide cannot be considered in a vacuum.

Nirav Modi, 51, is the subject of several criminal proceedings, with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case relating to a large-scale fraud upon the Punjab National Bank (PNB) through the fraudulent obtaining of letters of undertaking (LoUs) or loan agreements, and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case relating to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud. He also faces two additional charges of "causing the disappearance of evidence" and intimidating witnesses or “criminal intimidation to cause death”, which were added to the CBI case. 

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