IN LONDON The proceedings of
Montgomery said the general state of prisons in India is “shameful” and that the Arthur Road jail is an “old-fashioned sweatbox”. “The assurance (given by India on prison condition) is not assuring,” she said, and went on to speak about the prisons at great length. She cited statistics and observations from government figures, the
On Monday, Helen Malcolm from the
Mental health concerns
On Tuesday, it also came out in full force, through Montgomery, that Nirav Modi is suffering from mental health problems. The 49-year-old was accessing the counselling facility in Wandsworth prison, where he has been kept since he was arrested in March 2019. “It’s not his wish that he should become as ill as he has become,” said Montgomery, alluding to a legal fight they have waged to get him private counselling, as the outbreak of Covid-19 disrupted prison provisions.
A high risk of suicide, Montgomery said, makes it imperative for the court to enquire whether there are proper facilities and appropriate arrangements in India. “What the government of India is saying about the management of Covid in Arthur Road jail does not add up,” she remarked.
Justice system in India
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s press conference in the wake of Justice (retd) Abhay Thipsay’s evidence on 13 May 2020 made a reappearance as the defence linked it with Nirav Modi’s right to a fair trial. Thipsay, who retired as a judge in 2017, appeared as a witness for Modi’s first hearing saying that the charges levelled against him by the CBI would not stand up under India law. The court was, however, told that Thipsay will not give live evidence on September 9.
In the coming days, the defence is also expected to provide evidence from a retired Supreme Court judge to the effect that there has been a significant decline in the integrity of the justice system in India. Montgomery said the Delhi riots and the Babri Masjid ruling showed that there has been deterioration in judicial independence, which is manifest in the conduct of the lower courts and investigative agencies. Without giving names, she said several people declined to give evidence due to a climate of fear.
Nirav Modi appeared through a video link and was given the opportunity to speak with his legal team during the lunch break.