Nirav Modi’s extradition to India will worsen his suicidal tendencies and adversely impact mental health, his lawyers argued at a London court hearing on Wednesday.
Diamond tycoon Nirav Modi is accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank of $2 billion. He applied to the U.K. High Court to appeal his extradition on the basis he wouldn’t receive a fair trial in India.
They also cited the poor condition of Arthur Jail in Mumbai where Nirav is supposed to be kept after his extradition to India.
“The Arthur road jail cannot offer him the care he needs. It is Covid infested and Nirav won’t get a fair trial (in India),” the lawyer said.
They also sought to establish the grounds for a full high court appeal hearing by claiming it would be oppressive to extradite him due to his mental condition that could lead to suicidal impulses.
“The District Judge was wrong to hold that there was nothing unusual about the Appellant’s (Nirav Modi) mental condition; and wrong to focus on his present fitness to plead,” Nirav’s barrister Edward Fitzgerald argued.
“As to the District Judge’s conclusion that ‘the Applicant’s condition will improve on his return’ and ‘there will be an amelioration of his current conditions of detention’, that finding was perverse on the evidence before him and unsustainable in the light of the new evidence. It was based on his assessment that the conditions in the prison at Arthur Road, Mumbai will be better than they are at HMP Wandsworth,” he noted.
The lawyers also submitted fresh evidence to claim the COVID-19 pandemic is “overwhelming to the effect that the new outbreak of COVID renders the healthcare system on the brink of collapse”.
(With inputs from agencies)