In a major setback to fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, a UK court on Thursday ordered his extradition in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.
The District Judge at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Samuel Goozee, accepted the prima facie evidence against Modi for money laundering, saying: “Many of these are a matter for trial in India. I am satisfied again that there is evidence he could be convicted,” according to reports.
The development came after almost a two-year long legal battle.
Expressing satisfaction over the detention condition and medical arrangements in India, the court said, “Conditions in Barack 12 (at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai) look far better than his current cell in London.”
The observations came after Nirav Modi’s side had argued that he can’t be extradited to India due to his worsening mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic and the poor conditions in the Indian prisons.
According to sources, the court ruling will now be sent to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for a sign-off. Depending on the outcome, appeals may be made in the high court by either side.
The charges against the fugitive diamantaire centre around his firms Diamonds R Us, Stellar Diamonds and Solar Exports for making fraudulent use of a credit facility offered by the PNB, known as ‘letters of undertaking’ (LoUs).
Arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the UK had earlier sought to establish that a number of PNB staff conspired with Modi to ensure the LoUs. The LoUs were issued to his companies without required credit checks, sans recording the issuance of the LoUs and without charging the required commission upon the transactions. This resulted in a fraud amounting to nearly $2 billion (Rs 13,500 crore).
Modi, who was arrested on an extradition warrant on March 19, 2019, is accused of money laundering, conspiring to destroy evidence and intimidating witnesses.
Man ends life after police demands bribe for tracing daughter
45-year-old man allegedly committed suicide after a police official asked him for a bribe of Rs 1 lakh to trace his missing 22-year-old daughter.
According to the family members of deceased Shishupal, Ramnagar police outpost in-charge Ram Ratan Singh demanded the money from him.
Ram Ratan Singh reportedly reached where Shishupal had ended his life and tore up the suicide note when he found it.
Villagers later caught hold of him and handed him over to the police.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rohit Singh Sajwan, said that the Sub-Inspector has been shifted from the outpost and the allegation against him about asking for a bribe is under investigation.
Earlier, an FIR regarding the abduction of Shishupal’s daughter was registered at the Aonla police station on April 9.
In the FIR, Shishupal claimed that three men Banti, Mukesh and Dinesh abducted his daughter on a bike. The woman is yet to be traced.
FIR against 3 Bihar MLAs for violating Covid norms
The Bihar Police have registered an FIR against three MLAs from the opposition parties for violating Covid norms in Rohtas district, an official said.
Shyam Sunder Rai, the circle officer of the Nasriganj in Rohtas district confirmed the development.
The FIR registered against Anita Chaudhary, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA from Nokha and a former minister; Arun Singh, the CPI-ML MLA from Karakat, Vijay Kumar Mandal, RJD MLA from Dinara in Rohtas district.
The three legislators went to the Baradih village under Nasriganj police station to participate in a political event on Monday evening. The event was organized by RJD veteran leader Ram Nath Yadav. Besides them, a number of local public representatives and leaders of Rohtas district also participated in the event.
“As a duty magistrate, I found that majority of leaders are not wearing face masks and not maintaining social distancing norms. As the second wave of corona is at its peak, there is a possibility of it spreading further. Hence, I have lodged a complaint with the concerned police station against them,” Rai said.
“We have also learnt that the organizer had not taken permission from the district administration for the event,” Rai said.
Four garment shops gutted in Gurugram fire
Garments worth lakhs of rupees were reduced to ashes after a fire broke out at a shop located at Gurugram’s Sector-14 around 9 p.m. on Monday.
The flames soon spread to four adjacent shops located in the area. Fire personnel upon receiving information, rushed to the spot with four fire tenders and doused the flames, the officials said on Tuesday.
The reason for the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.
According to the fire officials, the entire operation took one hour. However, nobody was injured in the incident as the shops were closed at the time of the incident.
“We received information at around 9.15 p.m. on Monday. Four fire tenders were rushed to the place and brought the situation under control in one hour. Several teams of fire personnel were deployed in the fire-fighting and evacuation operations. The incident was likely to have been caused by an electric short-circuit,” I.S. Kashyap, assistant divisional fire safety officer told IANS.
Earlier in April, the city reported three fire incidents. On April 3, around 700 illegal huts in Nathupur village in Gurugram were gutted. On April 7, Plywood and Sanitary showrooms were completely burned in a massive fire incident at Sadar Bazar area and on April 11, around 110 illegal shanties were gutted in Naharpur village. However, according to the fire officials, nobody were injured in these fire incidents.
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