The hearing on Nirav Modi's bail plea has begun in Westminster Magistrates Court. He is being represented by the same legal team that spoke for fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya during his extradition hearing.
At the beginning of the hearing, Toby Cadman of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), representing the Indian authorities said that they would move the High Court if Nirav Modi was granted bail. We will do everything to keep him in, ANI quoted Cadman as saying.
Opposing Modi's bail plea, Cadman said that the accused was a flight risk and could flee if granted bail. Cadman argued that Modi could influence witnesses and destroy evidence if set free.
Earlier today, Indian agencies have submitted fresh evidence against Modi to CPS before the hearing. The additional evidence against Nirav Modi is expected to be presented before the court today. It is meant to build a stronger case against him and stop him from getting a bail. Meanwhile, the joint team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers is present at Nirav Modi's hearing.
Modi is likely to be produced before Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, the same judge who had ordered the extradition of fugitive Kingfisher Airlines boss Vijay Mallya last December. Modi's legal team has appealled for bail again today. His earlier bail plea was turned down by the UK court during the first hearing last week.
Modi's defence team had offered 500,000 pounds as security and also agreed to any stringent conditions that may be imposed upon their client in order to get him bail. They might further enhance the offer today in order to convince the judge to grant him bail during the second hearing. Following this, the case will proceed to a series of case management hearings and setting of a trial date.
Arguing the case on behalf of the Indian government, the CPS will emphasise that Modi has travelled out of the UK thrice despite his passport being cancelled by Indian authorities, India Today reported.
During his first court appearance, it was found that Modi had been in possession of multiple passports, since revoked by the Indian authorities. While one passport is now with the Metropolitan Police, a second expired passport is lying with the UK Home Office and a third with the UK's Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) for a driver's licence. Besides the passports, multiple residency cards, some of them expired, were also found in his possession. These residency cards covered regions and countries such as the UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Modi was reportedly living in a posh area of London and had started a new jewellery business nearby with help from his associates in the city. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will investigate the source of capital used to start this business, India Today reported.
Modi was arrested by uniformed Scotland Yard officers from a Metro Bank branch in central London as he attempted to open a new bank account on March 19. The move came after UK authorities approved Indian agencies' extradition request for Nirav Modi.