In a major setback to fugitive billionaire Nirav Modi, the London Court on Friday rejected his bail. The next hearing in the case will be conducted on May 24. The 48-year-old, who has been behind bars at Wandsworth prison in south-west London since his arrest last month, was produced before a judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court via videolink from the jail. The hearing this week took place as per the 28-day time frame for judicial remand in such cases.
Modi was arrested in London recently. Modi had left India before the fraud came to light in January 2018. The Income Tax Department had last month provisionally attached 29 properties and 105 bank accounts of Modi, his family members and firms as part of its probe.
The taxman had also filed a charge sheet against Modi before the special court under sections 276 C (1) (wilful attempt to evade tax), 277 A (false statement in verification), 278 B (offences by companies) and 278 E (presumption as to culpable mental state) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Modi, the prime accused of India’s biggest banking scam, will be extradited to India much sooner and won’t be delayed like absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya. According to a report, India will be able to bring back Modi within six months. And unlike Mallya, Modi can’t argue on the grounds of ‘human rights’ and political motivation.
A report in Times of India recently said that since the UK Courts had struck down the ‘human rights’ issue in Mallya’s hearing, it would give advantage to the India probe agencies. The report also said that the extensive and water-tight investigation papers by Indian agencies show enough proofs to meet the ‘dual criminality’ clause, which is required in the UK courts while dealing such cases.
From the fake Letters of Intent to bank transfers, the chargesheets by both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have detailed account of Modi’s modus operandi. The agencies have already seized the diamantaire’s properties in India worth Rs 1,873 crore. Nirav Modi was arrested by uniformed Scotland Yard officers on March 19. During his first court appearance a day later, it emerged that the diamantaire accused of defrauding PNB via fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) had been in possession of multiple passports, since revoked by the Indian authorities.