Nirav Modi’s bail plea rejected by UK court for the fourth time

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London: The Royal Courts of Justice Wednesday rejected the bail plea of the fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi for the fourth time.

His bail plea was earlier rejected thrice in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The fugitive diamantaire was arrested by Scotland Yard in connection with the Punjab National Court (PNB) loan default case on March 19 this year and has been in Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth, one of the largest prisons in Western Europe.

He will now need permission from a lower court to re-apply for bail at the Magistrate’s court.

During the court proceedings on Tuesday (local time), Clare Montgomery, who is representing Modi in the case, had submitted before the court that if her client were granted bail, he would be willing to be tagged through an electronic device so that his movements could be tracked.

“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 said.

“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.

Comparing Modi to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Montgomery had said, “Modi is not Julian Assange who wants to seek refuge in some embassy. He is an ordinary person. He is not a flight risk.”

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After presenting her arguments, the court said it wanted some time and deferred the matter to Wednesday morning.

India is seeking the diamond merchant’s extradition to make him face the law of the land for allegedly committing economic offences like fraud and money laundering. Modi has been lodged at Wandsworth prison in south-west London.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the prime accused in the Punjab National Bank scam worth of Rs 13,000 crore that involved fake guarantees in the name of the state-run lender to secure loans overseas. Both left India in January 2018 before the CBI started investigating the PNB scam.

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