Accused in PNB fraud case was denied bail last week

Nirav Modi, the main accused in the ₹13,000 ($2 billion) Punjab National Bank fraud case, will make another attempt for bail on Friday, after his first application was denied. The hearing will take place at Westminster Magistrates Court with the court’s chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot (who was the judge in Vijay Mallya’s hearing) expected to preside.

Separately, Mallya’s appeal process against his extradition continues to progress, as the High Court confirmed that all the papers from both parties had been received by the court and that they were “awaiting allocation to a single judge who will decide, on the basis of those papers.”

CBI team arrives

On Wednesday evening, a team from the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (one of whom had experience working on the Mallya case) arrived in London ahead of the Modi Friday hearing.

Last week, things took an unexpected turn as Modi was arrested by police after a tip off by a bank clerk at the Metro Bank branch in Holborn in central London who recognised him. Modi’s legal team had been in touch with the Metropolitan Police’s extradition unit, and there had been plans for him to hand himself over voluntarily by appointment this week.

Unlike Mallya, Modi was denied bail at the first hearing on Wednesday last week, despite offering the court assurances, including £500,000 as security, and despite the fact that his legal team pointed to his long-standing connections in the U.K.— his son has been studying here for a number of years, while he was enrolled in education courses, and was earning £20,000 a month as an employee of Diamond Holdings Ltd. The judge, however, concluded that because of the “high value amount” involved in the case, and the “substantial grounds” for believing he could fail to surrender to the court, bail would not be granted.

Should bail be denied again, he would have further options such as appealing to a higher court on the issue of bail in parallel to the extradition proceedings.

Modi was remanded into custody and sent to Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth in South London — one of the largest prisons in Western Europe — till the next hearing.

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