Former Supreme Court judge, justice Markandey Katju, will depose before a court in the United Kingdom on Friday as a witness for fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi in the case relating to the latter’s extradition to India.
Justice Katju, who served as a judge of the apex court from April 2006 to September 2011, confirmed to legal web portal Livelaw that he will testify before London’s Westminster Magistrate’s court through video conference.
Nirav Modi, an accused in the USD 2 billion Punjab National bank Fraud case, is contesting extradition charges initiated by India in the UK.
Katju, who also served as chairperson of Press Council of India after he retired from the Supreme Court, told Livelaw that he will oppose the Indian government’s case for extradition of Modi, who he claimed is unlikely to get a free and fair trial in India.
He also said that the judiciary in India is not independent but rather subservient to the executive, highlighting Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s public comments against Nirav Modi as proof of the fact that Nirav Modi’s trial in India would not be impartial.
Prasad had said in May 2020 that the Congress party was trying to shield Nirav Modi through former Bombay high court judge Abhay Thipsay, who joined the Congress party in 2018. Thipsay had appeared as an expert witness at the request of Nirav Modi’s defence team.