Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who's facing extradition to India in the Rs 13,700 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case, will appear at a UK court via the videolink today. Nirav Modi was declared a fugitive economic offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act on December 5, 2019. Order on the confiscation of his properties is yet to be issued. Modi is the second businessman after Vijay Mallya to be declared a fugitive economic offender under the provisions of the new act, which came into existence in August last year.
Modi had told a UK court that he would kill himself if he was extradited to India. He said he was beaten up three times in prison. However, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot still refused to grant him bail.
James Lewis, appearing for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on behalf of the Indian government, said, "He has said he will kill himself if his extradition is ordered, that in itself is the strongest motivation for someone to abscond."
The court was also told that Nirav Modi was suffering from depression and anxiety. The defence expressed concerns over Modi's medical condition being leaked to the press. Lewis stressed the leak was deplorable but did not come from the Indian side.
Despite all the arguments the Judge rejected his bail application. She concluded that she remained unconvinced that he would not interfere with witnesses and failed to surrender before the court. "The past is a prediction of what might happen in the future," said Judge Arbuthnot.
Judge Arbuthnot stated that she would write to the court expressing her concern over the assault incident. She also stated she would ask the court to provide him with a computer so that he could prepare for his next hearing.