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Indian businessman Nirav Modi, who was implicated in the multi-crore PNB scam, has been denied bail by a London court today.
Modi was presented before the Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London today, a day after he was arrested by local police. The Court had issued a warrant for Modi’s arrest in response to a request from India’s Enforcement Directorate. District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) Marie Elizabeth Mallon denied bail even though Nirav Modi was ready for a 500,000-pound bail bond. It was reported that George H Scott (Church Court) is representing Nirav Modi. The judge noted that he possessed the “means” to acquire further travel documents and therefore there are “substantial grounds” to believe he may not surrender before the court if granted bail. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing the case for his extradition to face the Indian justice system on behalf of the Indian government, had strongly opposed bail because Modi had “deliberately evaded justice” and not returned to India despite a series of criminal summons issued by Indian courts.
It is also reported that Nirav Modi has engaged Anand Doobay of Boutique law in these proceedings initiated by the Indian Government. After the arguments, the judge sent Nirav Modi to HMP Wandsworth prison in south London until the next hearing in the case on March 29.
On March 9, Enforcement Directorate had tweeted confirming this extradition request.
In a separate development, a Special Court (PMLA), Mumbai also allowed Income Tax Authorities to auction 68 paintings owned by Nirav Modi with direction to deposit the auction proceeds with ED. PMLA Court allowed ED to auction 11 vehicles (Rolls Royce, Porsche, Mercedes and Toyota Fortuner etc.)
Shortly after the PNB scam came to light, Modi’s company Firestar Diamond Inc had filed for bankruptcy in the United States.
After the ED attached Modi’s properties, he had filed a petition before the Delhi High Court challenging the same.
Here is an image from BBC about the HMP Wandsworth prison in South London where Nirav Modi will be kept.