New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With the UK court ordering in favour of Nirav Modi's extradition to India, Mumbai's Arthur road jail has finished all preparations to lodge the fugitive diamantaire in a special cell. According to the jail officials, Nirav Modi will be kept in one of the three cells of barrack number 12, which is a high-security barrack. Nirav Modi was wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering, to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore, in Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.
The Maharashtra prisons department had in 2019 shared information with the Centre about the status of the prison and facilities for lodging Nirav Modi. The prison department had also assured that Modi will be kept in a cell, where the number of detainees will be few. If lodged in the barrack, Modi likely to get three square meters of personal space, where a cotton mat, pillow, bedsheet and blanket will be provided.
In a comprehensive extradition win for the Indian authorities, a UK judge ruled on Thursday that fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi not only has a case to answer in the Indian courts but that there is no evidence to suggest he would not receive a fair trial in India. Modi lost his nearly two-year-long legal battle against extradition on all grounds.
What is Extradition?
Extradition is a process in which one jurisdiction hands over a person, who is accused of committing a crime in another jurisdiction, as per its law. Extradition is considered to be a cooperative law enforcement process between two countries and depends on the arrangements made between the two. It also involves the physical transfer of the accused to the legal authority of the requesting country.
What's complete in Nirav Modi's Extradition Process?
The UK court's ruling in favour of extradition is one of the most crucial steps in the process. Further arrangements will now be made to transfer the custody of the 49-year-old fugitive diamantaire to Indian authorities.
India had sent a request to the UK for Nirav Modi's extradition.
UK Secretary of State certified the request after checking all the formalities and forwarded it to the Magistrate's Court.
The Magistrate's court then reviewed the request to see whether the extradition offence and conditions for arrest are satisfactory.
The Magistrate's Court then issued an arrest warrant against Nirav Modi.
Nirav Modi was arrested post which hearings in the extradition request were carried out. Nirav Modi's arguments against the extradition were also heard by the Magistrate's Court.
Magistrate's court, after due hearings, ruled in favour of extradition and sent the case to UK Home Secretary.
What's left in Nirav Modi's Extradition Process?
The decision of the Home Secretary:
After the Magistrate's Court forwarded the case to the UK Secretary of Home Affairs, the Home Secretary verifies if there are any statutory bars to the extradition. The statutory bars include the person potentially getting the death penalty, or being tried for other offences rather than just the extradition offence. The convict can also present arguments as to why he should not be extradited. If there are no statutory bars, the Home Secretary will approve the extradition, which usually takes two months time.
After the Magistrate's Court forwards the case to Home Secretary, Nirav Modi can appeal in the UK High Court within two weeks. The appeal will only be heard after the Home Secretary made up his decision. The UK High Court will then hear this appeal as well as his appeal against the Magistrate’s decision together. If the UK High Court upholds the decision to extradite him, then Modi can appeal to the UK Supreme Court within two weeks of the High Court’s decision. If the extradition is refused by any judicial body of the UK on Nirav Modi's appeal, India can also file an appeal in these courts. The appeals will reportedly take at least another year.
Extradition by Home Secretary:
Once Nirav Modi exhausted all his avenues for appeals, the extradition request returns to the Home Secretary, who will order the final extradition. However, Nirav Modi can also request asylum in the UK, just like another fugitive and accused of money laundering and frauds, Vijay Mallya. Nirav Modi had also made an asylum application to the UK and is likely to pursue this even if his appeals are rejected.
Posted By: Talibuddin Khan