The Royal Courts of Justice in London will be delivering its final verdict on diamond merchant Nirav Modi's petition for granting bail in the extradition case against him today, (June, 12) at 2:30 pm IST.
On March 19, Modi was arrested by Scotland Yard officers in London and face extradition charges for being the "principal beneficiary" behind the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. He was arrested based on the warrant issued against him a few days ahead by U.K authorities.
In the lastest hearing held yesterday, the Crown Prosecution Service representing the Indian government, Nicholas Hearn said that it is "no accident" that Modi has arrived in the UK after the fraud was caught publically in India.
The prosecution also cited that the increasing value of the cash securities offered to get bail, from £500,000 to £2 million and the possibility of tampering of evidence indicates that he has the means to escape and not commit to further hearings if given bail.
Modi's advocate Claire Montgomery objected to many claims made by the prosecution and stated that India needs to have concrete evidence before claims of obstruction of justice are made as grounds of him not granted bail. "Modi is not seeking refuge in some embassy like Assange (WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange). He is an ordinary person," reported ANI.
Montogomery also said that Modi would "in no way" escape from the country as his children will be joining UK universities for further studies. Citing reasons such as how Modi moved to the UK to raise capital and "to explore where in the world he needed to be immigration wise," his advocate also argued that Modi is willing to be tagged through an electronic device and have his phone tracked after he is granted bail.
Hearn said Modi should not be granted bail at this stage due to the severity of the extradition case having major implications to the Indian government in addressing the crime committed by the businessman in his native country. Citing the friendly bilateral relations that India and UK enjoy together, the prosecutor stressed upon the extradition treaty that other countries may not have where Modi might choose to escape.
The Judge, Justice Ingrid Simler commented on the strong design of Modi's legal team said that such cases "has a presumption of bail in the absence of strong evidence" however Modi may also possibly face the respected Indian authorities if he is not granted bail in the final hearing.
In India, the prisons department and the home department shared information last week regarding the status of Mumbai's Arthur Road prison and facilities in case Modi is extradited. The series of letters exchanged between the state and the Centre authorities have indicated that if extradited, Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya will share the same prison cell.
Last year, a similar letter of assurance to the Centre was issued regarding the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is also currently in the UK. He is wanted by Indian officials on charges of fraud and money laundering case amounting to Rs 9,000 crore.
According to prison officials, if India wins the extradition case, the room shared by both Modi and Mallya will be having an area of 20 ft by 15 ft and equipped with three fans, six tube-lights and two windows.