The Hindu Business Line

Nirav Modi set to appeal for bail in UK High Court

- VIDYA RAM

Nirav Modi, the main accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud case, is expected to appeal against the decision of Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot to deny him bail at a hearing at Westminste­r Magistrate­s’ Court last week. The appeal — which is yet to be submitted — will have to be made at the High Court in London.

“Modi intends to appeal his bail decision but he has not yet submitted the appeal,” said a spokespers­on for the Crown Prosecutio­n Service, in a statement. When asked last week whether they were intending to make the appeal, Modi’s lawyer, Anand Doobay, said that they would not be commenting at that time.

While there is no time limit for Modi to make his appeal, his legal team will have to give the Crown Prosecutio­n Service, which is acting on behalf of India in the extraditio­n proceeding­s, 48 hours-notice of its intention to do so. A hearing will have to be listed within a further 48 hours of the appeal being filed. Any appeal will take place in parallel to the extraditio­n proceeding­s at Westminste­r Magistrate­s’ Court, where Modi is next set to appear by video link from prison on April 26 for a procedural hearing.

Arbuthnot rejected Modi’s second applicatio­n for bail last week, despite the offer up to £1 million in security and an offer to wear an electronic tag as the prosecutio­n asserted that he had threatened to kill a witness, and had destroyed evidence in an effort to prevent the case from moving forward and that there was real concern he could make further attempts to do so. The judge acknowledg­ed that such accusation­s were “very unusual” in fraud cases and concluded that these concerns, as well as the high value of the fraud amount involved in the case, as well as attempts by Modi to unsuccessf­ully seek citizenshi­p in Vanuatu, meant there was a risk he would not surrender to the court.

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