In a major development, UK court on Wednesday has rejected the bail to Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi for the third time. He has further set the date of the next hearing for May 30, until when the PNB scam accused will remain in custody.
Pronouncing the verdict, the UK court judge stated that he is concerned about the large amount of money involved in the scam, adding that Nirav Modi's brother Nehal Modi was luring the witnesses away from India.
"I am concerned about the amount. There is a lack of ties with community. The size of money is huge. Nehal Modi was luring the witnesses away from India. It appears that Nehal Modi was telling the witnesses what to say to the ED," Westminster Magistrates Court Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said.
As per news agency PTI, the 48-year-old fugitive was dressed in a light blue shirt and trousers as he appeared before UK court and sat behind a glass enclosure as the hearing got underway. Furthermore, Modi's defence team doubled the bail security to 2 million pounds and offered he would stay on 24-hour curfew at his London flat. However, the judge was not convinced.
Nirav Modi was arrested by Scotland Yard on March 19 in connection with the Rs 13,000 Crore PNB loan default case. He is currently lodged at Her Majesty's Prison (HMP) Wandsworth, where he can hold sessions with his legal team to deliberate on the course of his extradition proceedings.
He filed the third bail plea in the UK court which had already been rejected twice before by the same court.
Previously, he was denied bail by District Judge Marie Mallon at his first hearing on March 20 soon after his arrest by Scotland Yard officers from a central London bank branch. His legal team had earlier offered 1 million pounds as security alongside an offer to meet stringent electronic tag restrictions on their client's movements, "akin to house arrest".
(With PTI inputs)