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PNB fraud accused Nirav Modi’s extradition cleared by UK home department

NEW DELHI: The United Kingdom has cleared the extradition of Rs 14,000-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud accused Nirav Modi to India.

Confirming the development CBI sources said UK’s home secretary Priti Patel has cleared the extradition of the fugitive billionaire and diamond merchant.

A Westminster magistrates’ court had on February 25 allowed Modi’s extradition. The findings of the court were sent to the UK home department, which cleared the extradition today.

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Modi had allegedly perpetrated the PNB fraud in collusion with his uncle Mehul Choksi.

The development comes after a UK court ruled that Modi could be extradited to India after dismissing arguments such as his mental health worsening during the pandemic and poor Indian prison conditions.

“I am satisfied that Nirav Modi’s extradition to India is in compliance per human rights,” UK district judge Samuel Goozee was quoted as saying. He also said that Modi had the right to appeal.

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Earlier, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said since the Westminster magistrate’s court “has recommended Nirav Modi’s extradition to the UK home secretary, the government of India would liaise with the UK authorities for his early extradition to India”.

“There is no evidence that if extradited Nirav Modi will not get justice,” the UK judge said, agreeing with India’s submissions, news reports said.

He made it clear that he felt the case for the jeweller to face trial in India was strong and that Modi had clear links with “other connivers” including bank officials in faked letters of undertaking that facilitated the clearance of huge unpaid loans.

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“I do not accept that Nirav Modi was involved in legitimate business. I find no genuine transactions and believe there is a process of dishonesty,” the judge was quoted by the media as saying.

Modi was arrested in 2019 from a metro station in London on an extradition warrant.

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