Nirav Modi intends to appeal for bail in UK High Court
London: Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, undergoing extradition proceedings in the UK, intends to appeal for bail in the UK High Court after a second bail application was rejected by a lower court in London last week in the USD 1-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian authorities through the extradition process in the UK courts, said the 48-year-old intends to appeal against Judge Emma Arbuthnot's decision to turn down his bail plea at the end of a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court last Friday on the grounds that there was a substantial risk he would fail to surrender .
Mr Modi intends to appeal his bail decision, but he has not yet submitted the appeal, a CPS spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday.
The diamond merchant, who has been behind bars at HMP Wandsworth in south-west London ever since his first bail application was rejected on March 20, can apply for a High Court bail appeal at any time until his next remand hearing on April 26.
However, his legal team must give the CPS 48 hours' notice and the bail hearing must be listed within 48 hours of the appeal being lodged in the higher court.
We are not making any comment at this time, Modi's solicitor Anand Doobay said, in reference to plans for a bail appeal application.
It remains to be seen how Modi's legal team is able to further bolster the bail application after Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot ruled that 1 million pounds offered as security for bail as well as the offer to meet stringent electronic tag restrictions on their client's movements, "akin to house arrest", were not sufficient to convince her that he did not pose a flight risk.
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, the judge noted.