Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi is making yet another bail plea against his extradition to India in connection to Rs 13,500 crores Punjab National Bank fraud case, PTI reported Tuesday. Modi, who is undergoing extradition proceedings has previously filed similar bail pleas, all of which stood rejected by the United Kingdom Westminster Court.
The 48-year-old, who has been jailed at Wandsworth prison in London, is set to appear before Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on May 8 for a third attempt.
“The next hearing will be on 8 May. The application for bail will be heard before Judge Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates’ Court,” a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was quoted as saying. The spokesperson represents the Indian authorities in the extradition case.
Barrister Nick Hearn from Furnival Chambers will represent the CPS at the bail hearing, while Modi will be represented by Clare Montgomery of Matrix Chambers.
“This is a case of substantial fraud, with a loss to a bank in India of between USD 1-2 billion. I am not persuaded that the conditional bail sought will meet the concerns of the government of India in this case,” Judge Arbuthnot had stated, as he rejected Modi’s last bail attempt.
She also underlined that “very unusually in a fraud case” the accused had made death threats to witnesses and also attempted to destroy evidence in the case.
Montgomery, Nirav’s barrister, had reportedly made a series of arguments in an attempt to convince the judge to grant bail, even bringing up his pet dog on one occasion. “He did have a son at Charterhouse [school in London] who has now gone to university in the States and as a sign of ageing parents, led Mr Modi to get a dog instead. None of these actions are emblematic of someone setting out to flee the country,” she had claimed.
(With inputs from PTI)