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London Court rejects Nirav Modi's bail plea, to stay in jail till March 29


London, Mar 20: The bail plea of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi, the main accused in the PNB scam case, was rejected by a London court on on Wednesday.

Fugitive Indian diamantaire Nirav Modi was arrested from Holborn metro station on Tuesday in London, UK. He will be produced before a District Judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London to be formally charged, following which he is expected to seek bail.

PNB fraud case: Nirav Modi arrested in London, to be produced in court at 3:30 pm

"I have substantial grounds to believe that you may not surrender", judge Marie Mallon told him while rejecting the bail.

"Nirav Deepak Modi, 48 (Date of Birth 24.02.71), was arrested on behalf of the Indian Authorities on Tuesday, 19 March, in Holborn," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. "He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 20 March," the statement added.

The case will then follow a similar pattern through the UK courts as that of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who remains on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April 2017.

Mallya's case is in its final stage with UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid ordering his extradition last month.

A top court in London, UK had issued a warrant to arrest Nirav Modi who is accused in Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.

The order came in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his extradition to India to face charges in the money laundering case, officials said on Monday.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the prime accused in the Rs. 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank scam involving fake guarantees in the name of the state-run lender to secure loans overseas.

Both left India in January last year before the CBI started investigating the PNB scam.

Earlier this month, the 48-year old Nirav Modi was recently seen walking on the streets of London by a reporter of the British newspaper The Telegraph. In a two-minute clip shared by the newspaper, the billionaire was spotted in a tony neighbourhood of London wearing a 10,000 Pound Ostrich hide jacket. On Tuesday also, several Indian channels spotted him in the area.

The British newspaper said Nirav Modi has started a new diamond business in Soho, a part of the posh West End area in London. The newspaper, quoting government sources, reported that Nirav Modi has been given a national insurance number - needed to legally work in the UK - and has been operating bank accounts online while being wanted by India.

He was tracked down to a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor in an upscale tower block of luxury apartments, where rent is estimated to be around £17,000 a month, the newspaper reported.

The revelation of Nirav Modi's whereabouts in London comes a day after his 30,000 sq. ft seaside mansion at Kihim beach in Maharashtra was demolished by authorities using explosives.

After fleeing from the country in the first week of January last year, he was seen in a Press Information Bureau group photograph of CEOs and top brass of Indian corporate sector with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Davos, Switzerland, in January 2018.

Nirav Modi has been chargesheeted by both the agencies and the ED has also attached his assets worth ₹1,873.08 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), and has also seized assets linked to him and his family worth ₹489.75 crore.

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