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Nirav Modi denied bail, to stay in jail till March 29

Vidya Ram LONDON | Updated on March 20, 2019 Published on March 20, 2019

File Photo of Indian jeweller Nirav Modi.   -  Reuters

Fugitive billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi, the main accused in the $2-billion Punjab National Bank fraud case, was been arrested in London on behalf of Indian authorities, the British police said on Wednesday.

Modi has been denied bail despite offering the court assurances, including £500,000 as security.

He is now due to appear before Emma Arbuthnot, the Chief Magistrate of Westminster Magistrates Court, who had earlier ordered Vijay Mallya’s extradition. He is being sent to Wandsworth prison till the next hearing, on March 29.

Wednesday’s hearing before District Judge Marie Mallon took place a day after Modi was arrested at a bank branch in London by the Metropolitan Police.

In the dock

Following a brief recess to consider matters, the judge said that she wasn’t inclined to give Modi bail because of the “high value amount” involved in the allegations against him and the “substantial grounds” for believing he would “fail to surrender” before the court if bail were granted. During the mid-day hearing on Wednesday, Modi appeared in the dock — dressed in a white shirt and trousers — and told the court that he did not give his consent to India’s efforts to extradite him.

(As part of Britain’s extradition process, the question had to be put to him formally.)

Extradition opposed

On Wednesday, arguing against his extradition, Modi’s legal team, represented by George Hepburne Scott, an extradition barrister at Church Court Chambers, pointed to a number of factors to highlight Modi’s commitment to the UK.

The Grand Prosecution Service, on behalf of India, objected to bail, saying he would fail to surrender.

PNB’s shares closed up 3 per cent on the news of Modi’s arrest.

 

Published on March 20, 2019
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