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UK court hears Nirav Modi extradition appeal on mental health grounds

The High Court in London on Tuesday heard Nirav Modi’s appeal on the grounds of his mental health against extradition to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering, amounting to an estimated USD 2 billion in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam case.

Lord Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith and Justice Robert Jay presided over the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice to determine whether District Judge Sam Goozee’s February ruling in favour of extradition was incorrect to overlook the diamond merchant’s “high risk of suicide”.

The court heard of an additional assurance from the Indian authorities on November 13, which reiterates previous commitments of adequate specialist medical care and an ambulance at hand were Nirav to be extradited to Mumbai.

The hearing concluded with a timetable to wrap up the appeal in the New Year, as Nirav’s defence team were granted time until Monday to submit their queries on India’s assurance from last month.

The Indian authorities will then have until December 23 to respond, with a January 4, 2022, deadline set for the defence team to revert, following which a hearing date will be agreed to progress towards a ruling on the appeal.

“He is at high risk of suicide already and his condition is likely to deteriorate further in Mumbai,” Edward Fitzgerald QC argued as he opened the appeal on behalf of Nirav Modi – who remains behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London since his arrest in March…

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