Jaysukh Ranpariya, wanted in India for murder and several other criminal offences, contested his extradition on mental health grounds and alleged political persecution at a two-day hearing at a London court which concluded on Tuesday.
District Judge Sarah-Jane Griffiths, presiding over the extradition case at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, adjourned the hearing for closing arguments to be heard later this year, in November and December.
The 41-year-old Gujarati accused, also known as Jayesh Patel, is wanted in India for a “pre-planned conspiracy” to hire a contract killer for Rs 3 crore for the murder of prosecuting lawyer Kirit Joshi in April 2018. The court also heard that at the time of Ranpariya’s arrest in March 2021 in London, he was found in possession of “several fraudulent identity documents and bank cards”.
He is being held at Belmarsh Prison in south-east London and appeared in court for the hearing via video link, dressed in jeans and shirt.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), appearing on behalf of the Indian authorities, countered defence claims that Ranpariya posed a suicide risk and also pointed to a lack of any “supporting evidence” for his claim that the charges against him were motivated by “political persecution”.
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CPS barrister Clair Dobbin QC also countered the defence arguments that Indian government assurances related to prison conditions in which Ranpariya would be held if extradited were unreliable.
“India being a friendly state, any assurances are given in good faith. There would have to be clear and cogent breaches for me to take exception,” Judge Griffiths noted during the hearing.
Ranpariya remains in custody and will next appear for a 28-day call-over hearing, also via video link, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 6.
According to the Metropolitan Police in London, Ranpariya was arrested on March 16 last year in Sutton, south London, under an international arrest warrant issued the same day on behalf of the Indian authorities. The UK received a provisional extradition request from the Indian authorities for Ranpariya on charges of conspiracy to murder dating back to April 2018.
The Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice against Ranpariya to alert countries to take him into custody as the Gujarat police sought to trace and arrest the fugitive as part of its inquiries into crimes dating back over three years.
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