London, United Kingdom: A fugitive Indian jeweller on Wednesday lost an appeal against extradition to his homeland where he is accused of defrauding one of the country's largest banks of $1.8 billion.

Nirav Modi had been allowed to appeal against the original extradition ruling on mental health grounds and his right not to face inhuman treatment.

But in a ruling on Wednesday, two UK judges said they were "not satisfied that Mr Modi's mental condition and the risk of suicide are such that it would be either unjust or oppressive to extradite him".

Modi, dubbed a jeweller to the stars thanks to celebrity customers in Hollywood and India's Hindi-language movie industry Bollywood, lost his legal bid to avoid extradition from the UK in February 2021.

He fled India in February 2018 after being accused of having played a central role in defrauding Punjab National Bank, one of India's largest state-backed lenders, of $1.8 billion (1.5 billion euros).

Modi is also accused of witness intimidation and destroying evidence.

Lower court judge Sam Goozee ruled that there was enough evidence to suggest there was a criminal case against Modi in India, and handed the final decision to the government.

The then interior minister Priti Patel approved the request two months later in April 2021 although Modi was then given permission to appeal the decision in August of the same year.

Before the alleged fraud, which rocked corporate India, Forbes magazine estimated his wealth at $1.73 billion, placing him 85th on India's rich list.

He was arrested in London in March 2019, and has been held in prison on remand while his case has been litigated.

© Agence France-Presse