Nirav Modi’s 5th Bail Plea Rejected: London Court Warns of Influencing Investigation and Witnesses

The prime accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case, Nirav Modi, has filed yet another bail application. This time, he submitted the plea on April 16, 2024, marking the fifth such attempt in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. 

Nirav has been in jail for the past five years, and this recent application comes after his previous one was rejected three years ago.

During the hearing, District Judge John mentioned that the grounds for bail are crucial. If granted bail, it could influence investigations and witnesses. The judge emphasized the severity of the allegations against Nirav. 

This is not a case where bail could be granted easily. Nirav was not present during the hearing, while his son and two daughters were present in the gallery.

Nirav Modi is accused of defrauding PNB of nearly ₹14,000 crore by obtaining loans. After the scam came to light, he fled the country in January 2018. He was arrested on March 19, 2019, in South-West London.

ED-CBI Joint Team Arrives in London for Hearing

A joint team from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrived in London for the hearing. In India, Nirav faces three cases related to extradition. 

These include the CBI case regarding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, a case of money laundering, and another case involving tampering with evidence and witnesses in the CBI’s proceedings.

Both the ED and the CBI had challenged Nirav’s bail on his properties. The joint team of both agencies appeared in the Westminster Court in London. Opposition to the bail on the grounds of the agencies was voiced by the authorities.

The PNB Scam: Timeline and Modus Operandi

The PNB scam originated from the Brady House branch of PNB in Mumbai back in 2011. It involved fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LOUs). Between 2011 and 2018, billions of rupees were transferred to foreign accounts through these fraudulent transactions.

The scam came to light in the first week of February 2018. PNB informed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Bombay Stock Exchange about fraudulent transactions amounting to ₹11,356 crore. Subsequently, PNB also reported a fresh fraud worth ₹1,300 crore to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Court’s Decision on Nirav’s Extradition Three Years Ago

In February 2021, the Westminster Court in Britain conducted a hearing regarding Nirav’s extradition. The court granted approval for Nirav’s extradition to India. Subsequently, on April 15, 2021, Britain’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, also issued an order for Nirav’s extradition. 

Following this, the London High Court also gave its nod for Nirav’s extradition. However, due to other legal proceedings, Nirav’s extradition has not taken place yet.

Signatures on the Extradition Treaty in 1992

On September 22, 1992, India and Britain signed the Extradition Treaty. However, it took 24 years to extradite the first accused to India. The accused, Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, was extradited to India on October 19, 2016.

Subsequently, in February 2020, Sanjeev Kumar Chawla was brought to India. He was arrested in a match-fixing case. This means that although more than 28 years have passed since the signing of the Extradition Treaty with Britain, only two accused have been successfully extradited so far.

Three Accused Extradited from India to Britain

To date, three accused individuals have been extradited from India to Britain. On July 8, 2009, the first extradition took place involving Sohail Kirtane, a Kenyan national, in connection with an extradition case.

Subsequently, in a kidnapping case, Kulwinder Singh was extradited to Britain on November 14, 2013. Lastly, on July 29, 2017, Maninder Pal Singh, an accused in the murder of Henna Foster, was extradited to Britain from India.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.