No Fair Trial for Nirav Modi in India: Katju to Depose in UK Court
Katju will suggest that Nirav Modi might be made a “scapegoat” by the government for the drop in economic growth.
Former Supreme Cout judge Markandey Katju is slated to testify on Friday, 11 September, as a witness in a United Kingdom court against the extradition of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, reported LiveLaw.
In an email to LiveLaw, Justice (retd) Katju reportedly said that he will not talk about the merits of the criminal case against Modi, but will oppose Indian government’s plea for extradition on the ground that Modi was unlikely to receive a “free and fair trial in India.”
According to LiveLaw, Justice Katju has reasoned that Modi had already been subjected to a “media trial” in India and that the environment in India was hostile.
Further, Katju asked how will the Indian courts exercise independence in Modi’s case when the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had already declared him guilty.
Katju, according to LiveLaw, in his submission had suggested that the judiciary in India was subservient to the government, and “committed to Executive”, instead of being independent. To support the claim, Katju cited multiple instances such as the 2018 press conference of the judges, Ayodhya verdict etc.
Katju reportedly told LiveLaw that he will testify before the UK court that Nirav Modi is likely to be made a “scapegoat” by the Indian government for the drop in economic growth of the country.
Nirav Modi was arrested by Scotland Yard officers in London on 19 March and faces extradition to India as the "principal beneficiary" of the fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) as part of a conspiracy to defraud the Punjab National Bank (PNB) and then laundering the money.
(With inputs from LiveLaw.)
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