Fugitive Indian diamond merchant Nirav Modi's appeal against his extradition to India has been dismissed by a United Kingdom high court. A key accused in the INR 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, Nirav Modi had filed a written application before the court.
In the application, Nirav Modi had challenged the extradition order issued against him by the Westminster Magistrates' court. An oral submission by the fugitive diamond trader is still pending in the high court. If the oral submission is rejected, Nirav Modi would have exhausted all of his legal options in the UK.
However, he could still approach the European Human Rights court and appeal against the extradition order.
UK home secretary Priti Patel had ordered on April 15 of this year that Nirav Modi be extradited to India. He has been lodged at the Wandsworth prison in London since his arrest on March 19, 2019.
Nirav Modi (50) fled India on January 1, 2018. A non-bailable arrest warrant was soon issued by a trial court against him in connection with the PNB scam. This was followed by a red corner notice by Interpol in June 2018.
Spotted by a British journalist in London, Nirav Modi was later arrested by the UK Police. He moved the courts against the grounds for his arrest and even sought bail but his pleas were turned down by both the Westminster Magistrates' court and the high court in London.
Founder of the Nirav Modi chain of diamond jewellery retail stores, Nirav Modi has been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating, money laundering, and fraud in the PNB scam case.
Nirav Modi's uncle Mehul Choksi was also charged in the PNB scam and is currently in custody in Dominica on charges of illegal entry. After fleeing India in 2018, Choksi settled down in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.