‘Which jail has been earmarked for Nirav Modi’, asks UK court

The Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday sought information from India within 14 days on where fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi would be lodged, if extradited, and expressed delight over the better quality of paperwork submitted by New Delhi.

Modi, who was present in court, was remanded to custody until June 27, while chief judge Emma Arbuthnot fixed July 29 for the next case management hearing. The ‘opening note’ in the extradition case is to be submitted within six weeks, the court directed.

As in the Vijay Mallya extradition case, Modi’s case also involves thousands of pages, often carted to the court in boxes. In previous hearings, remarks were made in court over the poor quality of paperwork submitted until then.

However, chief judge Arbuthnot said on Thursday: “The paperwork is much clearer than it was, there is much better pagination. There is an index, I would like referenced pagination. There should also be an index to the volumes.”

Claire Montgomery, lawyer for Modi, pointed out that so far it was not mentioned in the documents in which prison he would be lodged, if extradited. She kept open the option of a prison visit if it is a different cell and jail than the one mentioned in the Mallya case: Arthur Road jail. The court is already aware of its conditions.

Montgomery, however, said the defence team remained ‘in the dark’ about the allegations against him as well as the identity of the prison. Modi is facing charges of major financial offences running into thousands of crores linked to the Punjab National Bank.

Ed Martin, lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents India, informed the judge that more detailed pagination and index would be included in the ‘opening note’ to be submitted in six weeks.

First Published:
May 30, 2019 18:34 IST

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