Bring them back

In a welcome development, fugitive Indian diamantaire Nirav Modi has been arrested at last. He was detained in central London Tuesday evening and was produced in the Westminster magistrate’s court Wednesday, where the court refused him bail. ‘Nirav Deepak Modi, 48 (Date of Birth 24.02.71), was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities on Tuesday in Holborn,’ the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. He is the subject of an extradition request by India, where he is accused of major financial irregularities running into thousands of crores linked to the Punjab National Bank.

Hence, the Government of India should take all steps to bring him back to the country as early as possible. However, reports suggest that the extradition case of Nirav Modi is likely to follow a similar pattern of that of controversial businessman Vijay Mallya. The liquor baron’s extradition was ordered by the court and Home Secretary Sajid Javid and is now in an appeals court, where a judge will rule whether the appeal will be heard or not. Nirav Modi continues to figure in Interpol’s wanted list on its website. The charges against him include criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker merchant or agent, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property and money laundering.

The BJP Wednesday hailed the arrest of Nirav Modi by the London police and credited it to the work done by Indian investigative agencies and the Narendra Modi-led government’s ‘political authority’. Senior party leader and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is following the plea for the fugitive diamantaire’s extradition in right earnest and asserted that India’s global stature will be an ‘important factor’. “The Narendra Modi government is pursuing all fugitives, be it Nirav Modi, Christian Michel or Vijay Mallya, and surely all the ‘raajdars’ (those having secrets) are going to speak a lot,” he said. Mere arrests of people like Nirav Modis and Mallyas are not enough. They should be extradited to the country, cases against them should be heard by fast-track courts and punishment should be given as per law.

NT Bureau