PNB scam: Nirav Modi staffer's bail plea on COVID-19 rejected

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Mumbai, May 18 (PTI) A special CBI court in Mumbai rejected the interim bail plea of Arjun Patil, a senior executive of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi's firm, who was arrested in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

Patil, a senior executive of Firestar International, a firm belonging to Nirav Modi, was arrested in February, 2018 by the Central Bureau of Investigation for his alleged role in the preparation of applications for fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) that were submitted to PNB.

Patil's bail was rejected on Monday, but the detailed order was made available on Tuesday.

He had sought interim bail citing recommendations of a high power committee to release some prisoners to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in jails, with his lawyer informing court that Patil had contracted the infection.

Patil had lost weight, was suffering from weakness and was unable to take care of himself, and chances of recovering from the weakness was low as jail authorities were not providing proper treatment or taking care of hygiene, his lawyer told court.

Special CBI Judge S U Wadgaonkar, however, rejected his plea and noted the state was taking sincere efforts to protect the health of jail inmates.

Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are prime accused in the case, with the probe agency claiming the two, along with some bank officials, cheated Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs 14,000 crore through fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs).

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