A court in London on Wednesday once again denied bail to fugitive diamond businessman Nirav Modi, ANI reported. Modi is currently lodged in Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth in England. The next hearing will be held on May 30.
Modi was arrested in London on March 19 for allegedly duping India’s Punjab National Bank of over Rs 13,000 crore. Modi’s arrest had come days after an arrest warrant was issued by authorities in London.
Modi’s defence team had offered to double the bail security to £ 2 million and also that he will stay on a 24-hour curfew in his flat in London, according to PTI. “Conditions in Wandsworth [prison] are unliveable...Modi is willing to abide by any conditions you choose to impose,” his barrister Clare Montgomery told Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot of the Westminster Magistrates Court.
But the judge was not convinced. “This is a large fraud and the doubling of security to 2 million pounds is not enough to cover a combination of concerns that he would fail to surrender [if bail is granted],” she said.
Modi, who fled India in January 2018, was living at an apartment in London’s West End till he was arrested in March. British newspaper The Telegraph had reported that Modi lived on half a floor of the Centre Point Tower Block in an apartment whose rent is likely to be around £17,000 per month (Rs 15.5 lakh), and which cost around Rs 73 crore.
On March 9, the Ministry of External Affairs had said it had requested Modi’s extradition, but had not received any response from UK authorities. India has said both extradition requests, by the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation, are being “considered” by the UK government.