UK high court defers decision on Nirav Modi’s appeal against extradition – Times of India


LONDON: The high court here deferred ruling on Tuesday on Nirav Modi’s appeal against his extradition to India in order to allow his barrister more time to make submissions on a fresh assurance from the Indian government on how his mental health will be taken care of at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.
Edward Fitzgerald QC, representing Nirav, can now submit questions on the latest assurance submitted on November 13 and get expert opinion on it from Wandsworth prison’s consultant forensic psychiatrist, Dr Andrew Forrester, and prison condition expert Dr Alan Mitchell. A directions hearing will take place in the new year.
Nirav, in Wandsworth prison, is accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 7,000 crore, of laundering the proceeds and interfering with witnesses and evidence.
The latest assurance states that were Nirav to need psychiatric treatment, he could go to the JJ Hospital in Mumbai.
Fitzgerald said there was no evidence of how he would be transferred out of prison to hospital and there was a shortage of police escorts. He questioned where Nirav would be quarantined before entering the prison or if he caught Covid, and what medical care he would get.
“We need to test the reliability of this assurance from November 13,” he said. “There is no description of what suicide prevention measures are in place. We don’t know what kind of psychiatric care there is at JJ Hospital.”
Referring to Dr Forrester’s first report on Nirav’s psychiatric condition, which “predated his arrest”, Fitzgerald said: “He will jump out of the window if he faces extradition as his mother did.”
Helen Malcolm QC, representing the Indian government, said: “We asked for access to Nirav Modi’s medical record and for our expert to see Nirav and this was refused.”
Lord Justice Stuart-Smith told Fitzgerald: “Don’t assume that in the event no access is granted to a government of India expert that we would make every assumption in favour of Nirav.” He apologised to members of the CBI and ED, who had flown from India for the hearing, that a judgment was not given. “India is a sophisticated society which understands mental science and the need for proper treatment — that much we are prepared to assume whatever else is said,” he added.

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