In a big blow for fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Wednesday rejected his bail plea. On Tuesday, the court had deferred Nirav's bail plea to Wednesday afternoon (10 am UK Time or 2:30 pm IST). Modi had appealed against a lower court's order denying him bail while fighting his extradition from Britain to India in Rs 13,700 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case.
Barrister Claire Montgomery represented Nirav Modi in Royal Courts of Justice and during his bail argument on Tuesday he had argued that granting bail to his client means the authorities will be able to track his movements. “He moved here to raise capital, to explore where in the world he needed to be immigration wise.... If he is given bail, he is willing to be tagged through an electronic device, have a phone that can be tracked,” Montgomery had said. “And since he has an extradition case starting, there is no way he will run away. His daughter and son will be moving here, they are starting university,” she added.
Claire Montgomery also read out a mail exchange between Nirav Modi and his brother and said that “the emails clearly show that there is no evidence of any sort of witness interference. We've seen witnesses from Abu Dhabi who've replied to emails from ED.”
Crown Prosecution Service, representing Indian Government, strongly argued against granting bail to the disgraced diamantaire and said, “Allegations are of conniving and criminal acts....If Nirav Modi is given bail during extradition hearings, then that’s another thing. But he should not be given bail at this time as he faces serious charges.”
“It is no accident that he (Nirav Modi) has arrived in the UK. The way he has carried out frauds, he knew this day was coming. He has been making offers of cash securities to get bail which started from £500,000 which has now gone upto £2 million,” added the prosecution.
Nirav Modi is accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 13,700 crore via fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs). Nirav has been lodged in Wandsworth prison since March 19. He was arrested on the basis of the extradition request by Indian government and a Red Corner notice issued against him on the request of the CBI last year.