Updated May 7th, 2024 at 20:38 IST

UK Court Rejects Bail for Fugitive Businessman Nirav Modi, Citing ‘Real, Substantial Flight Risk’

UK Court rejects fugitive businessman Nirav Modi's bail plea due to 'real, substantial' flight risk'.

Reported by: Isha Bhandari
Nirav Modi | Image:Facebook

New Delhi: Fugitive businessman Nirav Modi, embroiled in a high-profile legal battle, faced another setback as his new bail application was rejected by a UK judge on Tuesday. The 52-year-old, who has been in prison in London for over five years, continues to grapple with extradition proceedings to India, where he faces charges of fraud and money laundering. The UK judge ruled that Nirav Modi continued to pose a “substantial risk" of absconding justice. Despite his absence from the bail hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, Nirav Modi's son and two daughters were present in the gallery. District Judge John Zani, while acknowledging the passage of time since the last bail application, emphasized the substantial risk Modi poses of fleeing justice or interfering with witnesses.

“However, I am satisfied that there remain substantial grounds against bail. There continues to be a real, substantial risk that the applicant [Nirav Modi] would fail to attend court or interfere with witnesses,” concluded Judge Zani in his judgment after a short hearing. “This case involves, by any footing, a very substantial fraud allegation... not one where bail can be granted and the application is refused,” he said.


The court heard arguments from both sides, with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) highlighting the fugitive businessman’s alleged determination to evade Indian authorities and the magnitude of the fraud allegations against him, amounting to over USD 1 billion. 

Meanwhile, Nirav’s legal team, led by barrister Edward Fitzgerald, emphasized his deteriorating mental health and offered strict conditions for bail, including electronic monitoring and a ban on travel documents.


Despite the defense's assertions regarding Nirav’s mental state and his alleged safety concerns, the judge remained unconvinced, pointing to the seriousness of the allegations and Modi's potential access to significant resources across jurisdictions. 


Published May 7th, 2024 at 20:38 IST