A court in United Kingdom on Wednesday rejected a new bail application of diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who is the key accused in the Punjab National Bank scam, PTI reported. Modi is facing an extradition trial, which will begin in May 2020.
The businessman, who fled to the United Kingdom in 2018, was arrested earlier this year. Four bail applications have been posted by his legal team since his arrest but they have been rejected every time as he is deemed a flight risk.
The 48-year-old was produced before Judge Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. In the latest bail application, Modi claimed he suffers from anxiety and depression. However, he reportedly appeared healthier than his previous court appearances. The judge rejected the businessman’s bail application even though he offered to double his security amount from £2 million to £4 million.
Modi’s legal team have described his experience in prison as damaging. They have also pushed for house arrest in an attempt to persuade the judge to grant him bail.
Nirav Modi is accused of duping Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore. His uncle Mehul Choksi is also a prime accused in the case. The Central Bureau of Investigation is investigating the criminal charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. The Enforcement Directorate is pursuing the money trail and has attached a large number of assets in India and abroad in the case.
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