Whereas rejecting Nirav Modi’s problem to the extradition request of Authorities of India within the Rs 14,000 crore PNB fraud case, a court docket in the UK discarded the opinon given by former Supreme Court docket choose Justice Markandey Katju relating to possibilities of truthful trial rights being denied to the fugitive diamond service provider on account of lack of judicial independence.
Justice Katju had deposed earlier than the UK Court docket as an professional witness for Modi, opposing the Authorities of India’s plea for extradition on the bottom that he was unlikely to obtain a “free and truthful trial in India”. The written submission filed by him within the case states that Modi was subjected to “media trial” in India and that in such a “hostile ambiance”, he was unlikely to obtain a free and truthful trial in India. The previous Supreme Court docket choose additionally deposed that judiciary in India was extremely politicized and corrupt.
District Decide Sam Gooze of Westminster Court docket, London, who heard the Nirav Modi case, not solely discarded Katju’s proof but additionally made sure sharp observations towards the previous choose.
The UK choose stated that he hooked up “little weight to Justice Katju’s professional opinion” because it was “lower than goal and dependable”.
“Regardless of having been a former Supreme Court docket choose in India till his retirement in 2011 his proof was in my evaluation lower than goal and dependable. His proof in Court docket appeared tinged with resentment in direction of former senior judicial colleagues. It had hallmarks of an outspoken critic along with his personal private agenda”, the UK Court docket stated.
Going additional, the Court docket took exception to Justice Katju going to the media earlier than giving proof, and stated that it was a “questionable conduct for somebody who served the Indian Judiciary at such a excessive degree”.
Regardless of making commentary in regards to the equity of any trial course of in India, he accepted on numerous events in cross-examination that he had not thought-about the proof and it’s evident from his report he definitely had not thought-about the complete requests from the GOI, the Court docket noticed.
The UK Court docket additionally famous that although Justice Katju was essential of former CJI Gogoi accepting a Rajya Sabha nomination after his retirement, Justice Katju himself was a beneficiary of post-retirement job as he was appointed because the Chairperson of the Press Council of India.
“He(Katju) made daring assertions about corruption throughout the judiciary in India (together with former Chief Justices) and that the Supreme Court docket had surrendered itself to the chief. Of notice, regardless of being essential of a former Chief Justice passing a verdict in a Supreme Court docket case in change for a nomination to the higher home of Parliament in India on his retirement on a quid professional quo foundation, suggesting collusion and corruption, Justice Katju himself secured appointment by the Authorities to Chairman of the Press Council of India following his personal retirement”, the UK Court docket stated within the judgment.
Not stopping there, the UK choose additional stated :
“Regardless of being extremely essential of the “trial by media” and its affect on NDM’s case, he(Katju) took the astonishing resolution to transient journalists in relation to the proof he was giving in these proceedings, creating his personal media storm and including to the heightened media curiosity so far”.
No proof to say judiciary in India not indpendent
The Court docket noticed that there was no cogent and dependable proof that the judiciary in India was not unbiased, or able to managing a good trial even in a excessive profile case with media curiosity.
“As Ms Malcolm and Mr Hearn accurately remind me of their remaining written submissions, of the observations made by the Solicitor Common of India. India is ruled by it written structure which has at its core the basic precept of the independence of the judiciary by advantage of the separation of powers between judiciary, the chief and the legislature. There isn’t a cogent or dependable proof that the judiciary in India are not unbiased, or able to managing a good trial even the place it’s a high-profile fraud with vital media curiosity”.
Katju’s ‘astonishing’ statements highlighted by Authorities of India throughout cross-examination
Through the cross examination, the lawyer representing the Authorities of India, Ms Helen Malcom Queen’s Counsel and Nicholas Heren, highlighted some ‘astonishing’ public feedback made by Justice Katju.
Katju’s feedback corresponding to “90% Indians are fools”, “homosexual relationships are humbug and non-sense”, “ladies who stay single are susceptible to psychological issues”, “50% of judges are corrupt” and many others had been introduced up by the India Authorities’s legal professionals.
Katju denied the suggestion that he was a self-publicist who was making outrageous statements to garner media consideration.
The Court docket additionally noticed that Justice Katju made sure “astonishing, inappropriate and grossly insensitive” comparisons.
“In cross-examination, Justice Katju made some astonishing, inappropriate and grossly insensitive comparisons. He acknowledged that as a result of the BJP can not remedy the financial crises it is rather like “Hitler and the Jews” “Nirav Modi is the Jew that should be blamed for all the issues in India”. When challenged about his imputations in regards to the investigation, he acknowledged that he was not commenting on the deserves of the case however that NDM can not get a good trial”.
Justice Thipsay’s opinion additionally rejected
The UK Court docket additionally rejected the professional opinion given by Justice Abhay Thipsay, former choose of the Bombay Excessive Court docket, relating to the non-applicability of the offence of dishonest towards Nirav Modi.
“I connect no weight to his opinions set out in his stories and in oral testimony”, the Court docket stated.
Justice Thipsay had refused to provide additional proof within the proceedings after his participation within the case drew criticism from the Union Legislation Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Due to this fact, the Court docket stated that his proof couldn’t be subjected to scrutiny.
Concerning Justice Thipsay’s proof, the UK choose stated :
“I don’t concern myself with political commentary and opinions of politicians in India about Justice Thipsay’s proof. Nonetheless, Justice Thipsay is a retired Excessive Court docket Decide in India, giving proof as an professional on this extradition request on behalf of NDM. He’s conscious of the character and curiosity in these proceedings. He would equally pay attention to his personal political connections to Congress which it transpires he joined after his retirement. Justice Thipsay refused to provide stay proof when the extradition listening to resumed. Justice Thipsay is a retired choose who has aligned himself with a political occasion on his retirement and obtained opposed commentary within the media. Nonetheless, he additionally engaged and courted with the media himself. His extra stories and opinions subsequently submitted by the defence haven’t been topic to scrutiny. His unwillingness to provide additional proof in these proceedings, just because he didn’t get the protections which for my part there was no sound foundation to grant, meant his opinion went unchallenged by the GOI. There was no skill for the Court docket to additional scrutinise his professional testimony.General,these components have the impact,in my evaluation,of nullifying any weight I’d have hooked up to his proof”
The Court docket opined that there was a triable case towards Modi.
Rejecting all grounds of problem raised by Modi, the UK Court docket forwarded the case to the Secretary of the State to resolve as as to whether Nirav Modi is to be extradited.
Modi has additionally been notified of his proper to attraction inside 14 days, and the choice on extradition can’t be made till the attraction is disposed of, offered he workouts the appropriate to attraction throughout the stated interval.
Diamond service provider Nirav Modi is dealing with accusations of committing offences underneath the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Prevention of Cash Laundering Act, Indian Penal Code and many others in relation to the Rs.14,000 crore Punjab Nationwide Financial institution rip-off.
After the stories of the rip-off surfaced in February 2018, Modi fled India in Might 2018, alongside along with his relative Mekul Choksi. In March 2019, he was arrested in London by UK police on the request of Indian authorities.
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