Former judge of the Supreme Court and the Chairman of Press Council of India, Justice Markandey Katju will depose as a witness in favor of the fugitive economic offender Nirav Modi, whose trial is being held in the UK Court on Indian government’s plea seeking his extradition, sources reported.
“I will be deposing tomorrow (through video conferencing) in a UK Court as a witness for Nirav Modi. But I would not be commenting on the merits of the case and will only say that he (Nirav) will not get justice in India,” Justice Katju told the sources while citing that he has opined against the Indian government’s plea seeking the extradition of Nirav Modi. He further added that he has already submitted his written statement wherein he had reportedly mentioned that Nirav Modi is unlikely to get a free and fair trial in India as he has already been ‘convicted’ by the Indian media and that he has already been declared guilty by the Indian press.
Nirav Modi is the prime accused within the $2 billion Punjab Nationwide Financial institution (PNB) scandal. In his written statement sent to the UK Solicitor, Justice Katju asserted that Nirav Modi will be made a “scapegoat” for the failure of the Indian government to arrest the declining economy.
The Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in one of his press conferences have already labeled Nirav Modi as a “criminal”, stated Katju and questioned as to “How can a Law Minister declare someone as a criminal? Only a court of law can do that.”
Further, Katju alleged that the Indian judiciary is being “subservient” to the Narendra Modi government while referring to the recent verdict on Ayodhya dispute by the Apex Court, wherein it has permitted the construction of Ram temple. He has called the verdict to be the most “shameful verdict” after the ADM Jabalpur’s judgment of 1976.
On the other hand, Justice Katju also said that the Indian judiciary is “committed” to the Executive and referred to a press conference held by four senior Supreme Court Judges in January 2018 against the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra wherein the Judges had raised serious issues of judicial impropriety.