New Delhi, Mar 9: The government on Saturday said India is taking all steps necessary for extradition of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi, and the United Kingdom is still considering the request.
"You are aware that we have made a request for extradition of Nirav Modi in August last year. The status remains the same. UK is still to respond or is still considering our request," MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters here.
He said there have been two requests for the businessman's extradition - one from the Enforcement Directorate and the other from CBI.
The MEA had forwarded both the requests to the UK government. "And what we are told is that both the requests are being considered by the UK authorities....We have not received any further information on this from UK," he said.
To a question on what follow up actions on the diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud in India, can come now as he has been spotted in London, the spokesman said, the fact that an extradition request was made makes it clear that the government of India believed that he was in the UK.
".....we knew he was in UK, otherwise we would not have made the request for extradition," he said.
These come in the wake of media reports that Nirav Modi is in UK and has been living in a three-bedroom flat occupying "half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, with views across London”, likely to be rented at around £17,000 (Rs 15 lakh)".
The reports also claimed that the fugitive businessman was provided with a ‘National Insurance Number’ by the Department for Work and Pension in UK which allowed him to operate online bank accounts.
To a question that Nirav Modi was still conducting his businesses, the MEA spokesman said such a query was beyond the purview of the Ministry of External Affairs.
He, however, clarified, "....Just because he has been spotted, does not mean that he can be brought back to India".
"There is a process....We have made a request and it is for the UK government now to consider the request," Mr Kumar said.