'Nirav Modi has case to answer in India': Big UK Court quotes in PNB Scam case
New De;hi, Feb 25: The UK court on Thursday ruled diamond merchant Nirav Modi wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering in the estimated USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case can be sent back to face charges of fraud and money laundering.
"I am satisfied on the evidence that a prima facie case of fraud and money laundering is established," said Judge Goozee, as he read out parts of his judgment in court and concluded that he will send his ruling to the UK''s Secretary of State, Priti Patel.
Nirav Modi will not be denied justice if he is extradited to India, adding that Barrack 12 at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai is fit for him.
"There is no risk of suicide for Nirav Modi if he is sent to India as he will have access to adequate medical care at Arthur Road jail," the judge said.
The manner in which Letters of Undertaking were obtained, "the combination as a whole, takes us to the conclusion that Nirav Modi and co were fraudulently operating", the judge said.
"Many of these are a matter for trial in India. I am satisfied again that there is evidence he could be convicted. Prima facie there is a case of money laundering."
UK judge also dismissed Nirav Modi defence claims that Law & Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tried to influence case against the billionaire.
The Judge said India submitted 16 volumes of evidence. The magistrates' court ruling will now be sent to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for a sign-off.
It is the Cabinet minister who is authorised to order an extradition under the India-UK Extradition Treaty and has two months within which to make that decision. The Home Secretary's order rarely goes against the court's conclusions, as she has to consider only some very narrow bars to extradition which are unlikely to apply in this case, including the possible imposition of a death penalty.
Whatever the ministerial decision, the losing side - Nirav Modi - has up to 14 days within which to approach the High Court and seek leave to appeal after the Home Secretary's decision. Any appeal, if granted, will be heard at the Administrative Division of the High Court in London.