Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi was arrested and denied bail at the Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, setting off another high-profile extradition trial involving large-scale financial irregularities in India, three months after that of businessman Vijay Mallya.
Modi, 48, was arrested by Scotland Yard in the central London area of Holborn on Tuesday on India’s extradition request made in August 2018. He is wanted in India to face allegations of defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of over Rs 14,000 crore, among other charges.
Modi declared in court his intention to contest the extradition request and offered to pay 500,000 pounds as security deposit for bail. But this was denied due to what the judge called the “high value of amount involved in the allegations” and the likelihood of Modi escaping. He will remain in custody until the next hearing on March 29.
“I have substantial grounds to believe that you may not surrender”, judge Marie Mallon told him.
The trial will be held in the magistrates court over several months, possibly extending more than a year, as it did in the case of Mallya. He was arrested and bailed on April 18, 2017 and the court pronounced its judgement, ordering his extradition, on December 10, 2018.
Scotland Yard said in a statement before Modi was produced in court: “Nirav Deepak Modi, 48 (Date of Birth 24.02.71), was arrested on behalf of the Indian Authorities on Tuesday, 19 March, in Holborn”.
Modi is reported to have sought asylum, but UK officials following a long-standing policy do not confirm or deny an individual’s application. Legal experts say that his arrest suggests that the application, if made, would have been rejected, since granting asylum to a person facing fraud charges in India would be an abuse of process.
Both Modi and Mallya extradition cases relate to loans worth thousands of crores of rupees secured from Indian banks; from a consortium of banks that includes IDBI and SBI in the Mallya case, and the Mumbai branch of the PNB in Modi’s case.
However, there are key differences in the nature of charges of financial impropriety. Mallya’s main contention was that there is no prima facie case against him, since the inability of his Kingfisher Airlines to return loans, according to him, was due to a genuine business failure.
The case was described by the judge as ‘a jigsaw puzzle’, while Mark Summers, lawyer representing India, accused Mallya of ‘three chapters of dishonesty’: misrepresentations made to banks to secure loans, what was done with the loans secured, and what he and his companies did when banks recalled the loans.
After over a year of hearings involving thousands of pages of documents and witnesses, chief judge Emma Arbuthnot in December 2018 upheld India’s case that there is a prima facie case for him to answer in India, dismissing other grounds such as risk to human rights in jail and abuse of process.
In contrast, Modi’s case may be decided over a shorter time-frame, given the different, seemingly clearer charges of impropriety and fraud against him, his family and others, including some PNB officials, as outlined in CBI’s chargesheet filed in Indian courts.
Under the India-UK extradition treaty, the person requested needs to be charged with an offence that amounts to an offence in both countries (the principle of dual criminality). Modi’s arrest implies that the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the conduct described in India’s request is an extradition offence, including the requirement for dual criminality.
As in the Mallya case, Modi’s defence team is likely to raise issues in court to prevent his extradition, such as risk to his human rights in Indian jails, political persecution and alleged infirmities in the Indian judicial system that prevent delivery of justice.
India successfully countered such claims in the court with documentary and visual evidence in the Mallya case, including a sovereign assurance from the Union home ministry that there would be no risk to his human rights.
India’s charges against Modi, as provided to Interpol, are: ‘punishment of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker merchant or agent, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, prevention of corruption act, money laundering’.
As in the Mallya case, CBI and Enforcement Directorate officials are likely to travel from India to attend hearings in the Modi case. Officials closely associated with the Mallya case say it was a ‘learning exercise’ for ministries, CBI and others, when, for the first time, there was ‘joined-up thinking’ and attention to detail in New Delhi and London; a similar focus is likely in the Modi case.
While Modi’s case begins the first legal stage in the magistrates court, Mallya’s case has progressed from the magistrates court (ordering his extradition) to the home secretary (also ordering his extradition), and is now in the appeals court, where a judge will consider his application challenging the home secretary’s order.
Until focus on the Mallya case prompted renewed attention to improve the quality of Indian evidence and paperwork, previous extradition cases used to be accompanied by bundles of poorly written FIRs and documents, many hand-written, resulting in a catalogue of failures since the India-UK extradition treaty of 1993.
Who owns the Qutub Minar complex? The court will pronounce its verdict on December 12.
The matter of demanding the right of worship in the Qutub Minar complex is once again in discussion. In fact, the Saket court has reserved its decision on the reconsideration petition filed in the matter. Delhi’s Saket court will pronounce its verdict on December 12.
This reconsideration petition was filed by petitioner Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad in Saket Court. In fact, the Saket court had rejected the petitioner Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad’s petition in the matter of ownership of Qutub Minar. Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh had filed a petition claiming ownership over Qutub Minar.
By filing the first petition, Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh had demanded to make himself a party in this matter. It was said in his petition that the government had taken over the entire property in 1947 without our permission. This petition was rejected by the court.
The last time in September, when the ASI’s lawyer opposed the petition of Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh, saying that Sultan Begum had claimed the ownership rights over the Red Fort, we had opposed that petition in the Delhi High Court. Even then the court had accepted that there is no basis for the demand made in the petition. ASI had requested to dismiss the petition of Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh.
Dry day, holiday in schools, metro timings also changed… know the changes before the MCD elections in Delhi
The noise of campaigning for the Municipal Corporation elections in Delhi has come to an end. On Sunday i.e. December 4, votes will be cast to elect councilors in 250 wards. Before this, the Delhi government made three major changes so that the election arrangements can be implemented smoothly. In view of the elections, the Excise Department has declared a dry day for three days in Delhi. That is, there will be a ban on the sale of liquor in Delhi from Friday to Sunday. Liquor shops will remain closed on all three days. Apart from this, a holiday has been declared for all government schools on Saturday by the Delhi government. Due to the next day being Sunday, there will be a holiday in the schools. The third decision has been taken by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Metro services will be available every half an hour from 4 am on Sunday, the day of voting. This process will continue till 6 in the morning.
On behalf of the Education Department of the Delhi government, it was told that due to the preparations for the voting to be held on Sunday, a holiday has been declared for all government schools on Saturday. In return, schools will remain open on 10 December i.e. on the second Saturday of the month.
Liquor shops will remain closed for three days in the capital
Similarly, Delhi will have a dry day for three days from Friday. Delhi Excise Commissioner Krishna Mohan Uppu told that under Rule 52 of Excise Rules 2010, December 2 to 4 and December 7 will be dry days. Dry days are those days when the government bans the sale of liquor in shops, clubs, bars. According to the notification, there will be a dry day in Delhi from 5.30 pm on Friday, 2 December to 5.30 pm on 4 December. Not only this, there will be a dry day on 7th December i.e. the whole day of the results. That means there will be a ban on the sale of liquor.
Metro service will start at 4 am on Sunday
At the same time, Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) has made changes in metro operations on the day of polling. Metro services will be started at 4 am on December 4 (Sunday), the day of voting in MCD elections. Metro will be available on all lines at an interval of every half an hour from 4 am to 6 am. After 6 am, the normal frequency will continue like normal days. Delhi Metro is currently providing services on a total of 10 lines, including Red Line, Yellow, Blue, Green, Violet, Pink, Magenta, Gray, and Airport Express Line.
Man kills live-in partner with cleaver in West Delhi
According to police, a 45-year-old man was arrested on Thursday for allegedly murdering his 35-year-old live-in partner at her rented house in Ganesh Nagar, West Delhi. According to police, the woman’s 16-year-old daughter was asleep in another room at the time of the incident.
According to the police, the victim, Rekha Rani, had lived in Ganesh Nagar with her daughter for more than 15 years, and the partner, Manpreet Singh, had stayed with them for the past 7-8 years.
According to police, Manpreet gave Rekha’s migraine patient daughter some pills and told her to go to sleep on December 1 at around 6 a.m.
“He informed her that her mother had gone to the market when she became suspicious and inquired about her mother. She called her cousin and went to his Paschim Vihar home. They then called the police when they discovered that their house in Ganesh Nagar was locked. Ravindra Singh Yadav, Special CP (Crime Branch), stated, “The victim’s daughter stated in her statement that she suspected that Manpreet had harmed her mother and that Manpreet and her mother had been fighting over money for some time.”
According to the police, the suspect allegedly stabbed Rekha in the neck and face while she resisted and mutilated a finger on her right hand.
Manpreet moved in with Rekha after meeting her in 2015. He claimed that Rekha stopped letting him visit and talk to his family because, over time, she started to feel insecure. A police officer stated, “He purchased a chopper (cleaver knife) recently to murder her and planned to kill her.”
According to the police, the accused is allegedly involved in six cases in Delhi, including kidnapping for a ransom, an attempt to kill, the arms act, and forgery.
According to the police, the suspect drove to his home village of Nabha in Punjab after killing the woman. Police said the car was found through toll barriers and he was caught using technical investigation.
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