On Friday, Diamond merchant Nirav Modi has been denied bail for the third time by the UK Court, in a hearing that was headed by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot.
Dressed in black and beige, appeared via video-link from Wandsworth Prison, Mr. Modi didn’t utter any word except to confirm his name, Nirav Modi.
After the end of the brief hearing, Mr. Arbuthnot said to Mr. Modi, “you will be back for another short hearing via video link on May 24, with a full hearing in the case planned for May 30 when you will be produced in person.”
The fugitive businessman’s legal team was then asked if they had any more documents to produce before the court, which they could not, means a new bail petition wasn’t filed. Under the British Law, a new petition could only have been filed if the ground for raising the petition were substantially distinct.
The next hearing to this case is likely to be a procedural one, to fulfill provisions under local law, before the starting of a full case management on May 30.
On March 29, Nirav Modi was earlier denied bail on the grounds that there was “substantial risk he would fail to surrender.”
During that time, the United Kingdom’s Crown Prosecution Service has argued on behalf of Indian authorities, pointed to Mr. Modi’s attempt to seek citizenship in Vanuatu at grounds that he couldn’t be relied on to appear in court when asked for.
In her ruling, the judge had noted that “this is a case of substantial fraud, with 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.”
According to the website of the Ministry of External Affairs, India has no extradition treaty in force with the Pacific Island nation. However, “in the absence of a treaty, it is a matter for the foreign country to consider, in accordance with its domestic laws and procedures, whether the country can agree to India’s extradition request on the basis of an assurance of reciprocity.”
Mr. Modi is fighting extradition from the United Kingdom to India in the case of $1 billion PNB fraud and money laundering scam. The fugitive businessman is being held at Wandsworth Prison in London, where he has been kept since was arrested in March 2019, was arrested by Scotland Yard Officers and was sent to jail after his first bail petition got rejected.