Nirav Modi’s bail plea rejected: ‘Substantial grounds’ to believe he wouldn’t surrender, says UK court

Nirav Modi, one of the key accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud case, was recently tracked by UK’s Telegraph newspaper in London. (Source: Video Screengrab)

A London court in the United Kingdom Wednesday rejected Nirav Modi’s bail plea against his arrest. He will remain in custody till March 29, reported ANI. The London court earlier today said Modi had demonstrated "keenness to fully cooperate", agreed to pay tax and had submitted travel documents to the court.

According to PTI, the UK judge said there are substantial grounds to believe Nirav Modi would fail to surrender if granted bail. Modi has been sent to HM Prison Wandsworth.

The fugitive jeweller was held by authorities in the United Kingdom, days after the Westminster Magistrate Court in London issued a warrant against him.

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"Nirav Deepak Modi, (Date of Birth 24.02.71), was arrested on behalf of the Indian Authorities on Tuesday, 19 March, in Holborn," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. "He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 20 March," the statement added. Read in Tamil and Bangla

Modi is accused of siphoning off Rs 13,500 crore from the Punjab National Bank through fraudulent letters of undertaking and letters of credit in connivance with his uncle Mehul Choksi and bank officials at PNB's Brady House branch in Mumbai.

The location of the arrest indicates that Modi was nabbed from where he is believed to have been living in a plush apartment in Centre Point in the West End. The court warrant against Modi had marked the beginning of extradition proceeding against him.

Modi, one of the key accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud case, was recently tracked by UK’s Telegraph newspaper in London where he was reportedly running a diamond business.

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After a video emerged showing Modi walking on the streets of London, the External Affairs Ministry had said that the government was taking steps to extradite Modi from the UK, which they were already considering.

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid had certified India's extradition request for Modi, triggering the legal process. Modi is believed to have arrived in London last year and was able to travel in and out of Britain at least four times since his passport was cancelled by the Indian authorities in February 2018.

Last year, in connection with another extradition case, the Scotland Yard arrested absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya for defaulting bank loans in India. However, he was immediately released on bail. A UK court had recently ruled against Mallya, clearing the decks for his extradition. Mallya’s case is currently pending before the UK’s Home office. He is yet to file an appeal.

Meanwhile, a Mumbai Court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Modi’s wife, Amy Modi. The court has also allowed the sale of 11 vehicles belonging to Modi after an application from the Enforcement Directorate. The vehicles include a Rolls Royce, Porsche, Mercedes and Toyota Fortuner.