‘Astonishing, inappropriate’: UK courtroom hits out at Markandey Katju’s ‘political affect’ testimony in Nirav Modi case

‘Astonishing, inappropriate’: UK courtroom hits out at Markandey Katju’s ‘political affect’ testimony in Nirav Modi case

District Choose Samuel Goozee mentioned there was no proof which allowed him to search out that if extradited, Modi could be at a ‘danger of struggling a flagrant denial of justice’

‘Astonishing, inappropriate’: UK court hits out at Markandey Katju’s ‘political influence' testimony in Nirav Modi case

File picture of former Supreme Court docket choose Markandey Katju. PTI

London: The UK choose who handed down his judgment on Thursday in favour of the extradition of Nirav Modi to face costs of fraud and cash laundering in India mentioned he had discovered no proof of opposed political affect within the case, as claimed by the diamond service provider’s authorized group.

In help of their claims, Modi’s legal professionals had deposed retired Supreme Court docket choose Markandey Katju – of whom District Choose Samuel Goozee was extremely important and dubbed the proof as “lower than goal and dependable”.

“Albeit, some political commentary might be described as ill-advised, there’s nothing within the volumes of media, broadcasting or social media hyperlinks which were referred to me within the voluminous defence bundles that offers any indication that politicians try to affect the result of any trial, not to mention NDM’s (Nirav Deepak Modi) trial or that the trial course of itself could be inclined to such affect,” Justice Goozee notes.

“I reject any submission that the GOI (authorities of India) have intentionally engineered a media onslaught. I connect little weight to Justice Katju’s skilled opinion,” he mentioned.

Just about Katju’s testimony through video hyperlink final 12 months, Justice Goozee felt it appeared tinged with resentment in the direction of former senior judicial colleagues and described elements of it as “astonishing, inappropriate and grossly insensitive comparisons”.

“It had hallmarks of an outspoken critic along with his personal private agenda. I discovered his proof and behavior in partaking the media the day earlier than giving proof to be questionable for somebody who served the Indian judiciary at such a excessive stage appointed to protect and defend the rule of regulation,” Goozee notes in his ruling.

Regardless of being important of the “trial by media” and its influence on the Modi case, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket choose expressed shock that Katju, who was a Supreme Court docket choose from 2006 to 2011, took the “astonishing choice” to temporary journalists in relation to the proof he was giving within the UK proceedings, “creating his personal media storm and including to the heightened media curiosity up to now”.

Goozee was additionally important of former Excessive Court docket choose Abhay Thipsay’s proof, one other defence witness who had been deposed as an skilled on how the case would play out within the Indian courts.

The UK choose famous that Thipsay had aligned himself with a political social gathering (Congress) on his retirement and obtained opposed commentary within the media consequently, however that he additionally engaged with and courted the media himself.

“General, these components have the impact, in my evaluation, of nullifying any weight I’d have hooked up to his proof,” the ruling notes.

The UK choose, who discovered a prima facie case of fraud and cash laundering towards Modi within the Punjab Nationwide Financial institution (PNB) rip-off case, additional declared that there was no proof which allowed him to search out that if extradited the jeweller could be at “actual danger of struggling a flagrant denial of justice” as pleaded by his legal professionals.

He accepted that the accused being a high-profile businessman who made an enormous success of the Nirav Modi model in India and worldwide was the goal of “sensationalised” media reporting, however identified that such reporting will not be unfamiliar to the courts even within the UK.

“India is ruled by its written structure which has at its core the elemental precept of the independence of the judiciary by advantage of the separation of powers between judiciary, the manager and the legislature. There is no such thing as a cogent or dependable proof that the judiciary in India are now not unbiased, or able to managing a good trial even the place it’s a high-profile fraud with important media curiosity,” the ruling says.

The choose additionally highlighted how he had obtained 16 volumes of proof from the Authorities of India, 16 bundles of skilled stories and defence proof and a complete of 32 lever-arch folders of paperwork, all of which he has thought of in his ruling.

He was, nevertheless, extraordinarily important of the “poorly introduced” documentation by the Indian authorities and burdened, “I hope the GOI take these observations on board in relation to future requests.”

The judgment will now go to UK Residence Secretary Priti Patel, who has two months to order extradition on the premise of the courtroom’s findings.

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