Three Sikh men facing extradition to India accused of murder have been told there is insufficient evidence to bring the case against them.

Brothers Amritivir Singh Wahiwala, 40, Gursharanvir Singh Wahiwala, 37, from Coventry, and Piara Singh Gill, 38, from Wolverhampton, were accused of conspiracy to murder Rulda Singh in India.

Singh was fatally shot in 2009. The trio, branded the West Midlands Three by supporters, claim they were targeted by the Indian government for political reasons.

Outside court, hundreds of protesters gathered to support the men.

At Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the defendants were told the the UK will not be pursuing extradition due to a lack of evidence.

Prosecutor Daniel Sternberg said: “The totality of the evidence in this matter is not sufficient to make out a case to answer for the requested persons to any of the charges in the extradition request.”

Mark Summers QC, representing Gill and Gursharanvir Wahiwala, said: “On behalf of the two defendants I represent today, the concession that is made is one that’s entirely inevitable.

“The evidence has been entirely lacking in this case for over a year since this case began in July last year.

“The concession accords entirely with what the Indian courts themselves said in 2015.

“Against the background and profile of this matter, it is also fair that this vindicates the defendants’ assertion that they have been pursued without an evidential basis.

“In all, withholding by India of the 2015 judgment is seen to be a very serious dereliction of candour.

“That India may want to start again is frankly disturbing. Not only does it involve the prospect that this 11-year ordeal may not be at an end for my two clients, but would be straightforwardly abusive.”

Edward Fitzgerald, representing Amritivir Singh Wahiwala, said: “As you know Amritivir Singh Wahiwala was arrested in December 2020 and since then he has been put through a lot, an unnecessary, unjust ordeal pursuant to the request by the Indian government.

“We think the request was made on the basis of a wholly unsustainable allegation he was party to a conspiracy to murder back in India in 2009.

“He has claimed his innocence right from the start.”

Concluding the hearing, District Judge Michael Snow released the three men and ordered they be compensated for their travel costs.

He said: “Nothing has been proved against you you remain, under the fundamental principle of English justice: innocent of the charge until proven guilty of it.”

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “We have maintained all along that Priti Patel started extradition proceedings to simply appease the right wing Indian government that she enthusiastically supports. “When the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab visited India in December 2020 to discuss a trade deal it was too much of a coincidence that Priti Patel disgracefully sanctioned the extradition process and ordered the arrests the next day.

“This was an entirely politically motivated course of action for which Priti Patel must be held to account. She certified the extradition request and ordered the arrest of the three British Sikhs without any new evidence that would stand up in a British court.

“Priti Patel should resign for failing to follow due process and doing India’s dirty business of trying to silence British Sikhs.

“She has wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money to play roughshod with the lives of three innocent British Sikh men, their wives and children in a shocking ordeal over the last nine months and held the Sikh community at ransom."