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Wait for justice gets longer for victims of Nirav Modi as he files appeal to challenge extradition

The UK court is yet to admit his appeal against extradition

nirav_modi Nirav Modi | Amey Mansabdar

From central agencies keen to recover millions to unsuspecting victims of his diamond trade, there are many who are anxiously waiting for for Nirav Modi’s extradition. However, the wait for justice may only become longer if the UK High Court admits his appeal against his extradition to India.

Last week, the fugitive diamond trader approached the UK High Court, seeking permission to appeal against his extradition.

The news of a possible delay in extradition is causing sleepless nights to residents of Nagindas Mansion on JSS Road in Mumbai, which has been home to Modi's twin flagship companies—Firestar Diamond Inc and Diamond R Us—that are at the centre of the Rs11,400 crore Punjab National Bank scam.

Investigations revealed that it was from here that the illegal diamond trade through alleged shell companies was carried out by the fugitive diamond trader.

Siddharth B. Dave, Modi’s neighbour in the century-old building, is fighting a lone battle today. Dave recently lost his mother and aunt during COVID-19 and is the only resident left in the building.

“It is my ancestral house. My concern is that three years have passed, all the illegalities in the building must be demolished,'' he said.

Three flats in this building were allegedly in possession of Modi and used for running his multi-million diamond trade. Almost half a dozen government agencies—ED, Income Tax, Registrar of Companies and even the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai—have communicated with this address. But now the letters have stopped coming and there are no visitors.

''Nirav Modi's flats on the fourth floor were sealed by the government. But no action has been taken on the illegal construction done by him. There were lofts installed by him which have resulted in a lot of pressure on the building. It can crumble any day,'' Dave said.

Dave said he lodged complaints against the twin companies to various authorities but the agencies have only sealed the flats. ''Even if Nirav Modi stays in UK, the authorities should simply act on demolishing the illegalities and give us compensation,'' he added.

Modi fled the country in January 2018 after causing huge damage to the government exchequer as well the lives of residents of Nagindas Mansion.

While Modi seldom set foot in the dilapidated building located on a crowded street in Mumbai, his neighbours in this nondescript address have been on the edge. After the raids and sealing of his flats, the building is crumbling under pressure, and Modi's return is the only ray of hope for his hapless victims.

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