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PNB fraud: Nirav Modi likely to seek bail; proceedings may follow pattern similar to Vijay Mallya case

Nirav Modi, the fugitive diamontaire and main accused in the $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, is expected to seek bail after he will be produced in a UK court.

The 48-year-old's arrest would lead to him being produced before a District Judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London to be formally charged, following which he is expected to seek bail, reported PTI.

Police said Modi had been arrested in the Holborn area of central London on Tuesday.

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

 PNB fraud: Nirav Modi likely to seek bail; proceedings may follow pattern similar to Vijay Mallya case

A file image of Nirav Modi. News 18

The 63-year-old businessman has since filed an application seeking leave to appeal against his extradition ordered by UK home secretary Sajid Javid last month.

Javid had certified India's extradition request for Nirav Modi earlier this month, triggering the legal process in the courts, kick-started with the issuance of a warrant.

News of the certification of India's request came just as Modi was tracked down to a three-bedroom flat in the Centre Point tower block of luxury apartments in the West End of London.

He is believed to have arrived in London last year and was able to travel in and out of Britain at least four times since his passport was cancelled by the Indian authorities in February 2018.

During some of his stay in London he was reportedly also living in the heart of the city above his jewellery boutique called “Nirav Modi” on Old Bond Street, which has since closed down.

Modi is now believed to be running a new business, which describes itself on the UK's Companies House register as a wholesale trader in watches and jewellery and a retailer of watches and jewellery in specialised stores.

Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, are the main accused in the PNB scam and they both left India before the details of the fraud came to light in January 2018.

Last month, Mallya, wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crores, filed his application in the UK High Court, seeking permission to appeal against an extradition order signed by the British home secretary.

Mallya, who remains on bail on an extradition warrant in the UK, made the application in the Administrative Court division of the High Court on 14 February, 10 days after home secretary Sajid Javid signed off on the order triggering a 14-day window for his appeal application.

The application has been sent for a judge on papers decision, which is expected any time between two to four weeks,? a UK court representative said.

A judge on papers decision will involve a High Court judge determining the merits of the application and if it is accepted, the case will proceed to a substantive hearing in the next few months' time.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2019 18:41:49 IST

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