UK Court Clears Extradition of Gujarat Murder Accused Jaysukh Ranpariya

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London, March 30: A UK court on Thursday cleared the extradition of Jaysukh Ranpariya, wanted in India to stand trial for four linked conspiracies to murder, and sent the case to Home Secretary Suella Braverman to sign off on the ruling.

District Judge Sarah-Jane Griffiths handed down her judgment at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London at the end of a series of hearings in the case, which concluded in December last year. Nirav Modi Loses Appeal as UK High Court Orders Extradition to India to Face Fraud and Money Laundering Charges.

She described the case, dating back two years, as “extremely challenging” with the evolving evidence and issues. “I am satisfied to the necessary standard that the extradition request contains sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case,” Judge Griffiths notes. UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman Orders Extradition of Arms Dealer Sanjay Bhandari to India.

“I find that the Defendant’s extradition to India to face a criminal prosecution complies with his Convention Rights within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998. I am satisfied to the necessary standard that there are no bars to this extradition request, as provided for by the 2003 Act, nor does extradition amount to an abuse of process in this case,” her judgment reads.

“In accordance with the provision of section 87(3) of the [Extradition] 2003 Act I am sending this case to the Secretary of State for a decision as to whether the Defendant is to be extradited,” she concludes.

As per India’s extradition request Ranpariya, also known as Jayesh Patel, is wanted for four linked conspiracies and each conspiracy to murder is linked to attempting to extort money or property from individuals linked to the sale and development of plots of land in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

“In each case the killing was to be by way of a contract killing. One of his victims died; three survived. The individual who was murdered was an advocate, Kirit Joshi,” reads the extradition request.

According to the court documents, Ranpariya sought to take control of land owned by others, by the production of false documentation, or would attempt to block or dissuade would-be purchasers from acquiring land being sold by his rivals. Individuals who were targeted or who took steps to support victims of his extortion were subjected to “threats and intimidation”.

The extradition proceedings are focused upon the allegations of murder and conspiracy, or attempt to murder, alleged to have occurred between 2018 and 2021. “In each case, the Defendant (Ranpariya) is alleged to have commissioned others (by contract) to kill specific persons,” the judgment notes.

The judge said she found “sufficient evidence” to establish a prima facie case against the accused with respect to each set of allegations. On Ranpariya’s defence on mental health grounds, the judge referenced the case of diamond merchant Nirav Modi and concluded that:

“As in Modi, I find that I cannot ‘quantify the risk of suicide’ in this case other than to say it is an elevated risk. I accept for the purposes of this judgment that it may well reach a high or substantial risk should his extradition be ordered.

“That said, as submitted by [Crown Prosecution Service barrister] Miss Dobbin KC, the Defendant is not suffering from an enduring and severe mental illness like schizophrenia or a psychotic illness (as set referred to in Modi).”

Meanwhile, Ranpariya remains behind bars at HMP Belmarsh Prison in south-east London and had been following the court proceedings with the help of a Gujarati interpreter. He can appeal against the judgment in the High Court, which can be heard after the Home Secretary has signed off on the extradition in the next few months. Ranpariya was subject to an Interpol Red Notice and arrested on March 17, 2021, in London.

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