UK Court rejected the bail application filed by fugitive Nirav Modi for the fifth time; he is fighting his extradition to India on charges related of fraud charges in the Punjab National Bank which is nearly 2 Billion US Dollars. The 49-year-old, who has been stayed at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London since his incarceration in March last year and is catalogued for an extradition trial in May, made his fifth endeavour in procuring bail based on a change in circumstances.
The painting seized by Enforcement Directorate belonging to fugitive Nirav Modi was refused by a bench of Bombay High Court to the auction of 15 paintings. The auction is scheduled to happen on 5th Match 2020 and observation made by the Bench to the petition filed by Rohin Modi, son of Nirav Modi that he delayed in proposing the court to sojourn the auction without any sort of justification and appellant had not given the Enforcement Directorate (ED) enough time to respond. The argument made by the Appellant regarding the paintings belonged to the Rohin Trust and it cannot be auctioned off and The ED didn’t give notice to the Trust about the doing of the paintings. The ED gave a response to the bench that the fugitive Nirav Modi’s wife is an accused to the case of money laundering and owns 90 per cent of shares in the Trust; authorises them to sell the supposed paintings. There was a question raised by the counsel representing the appellant on the urgency of ED to sell paintings as this case isn’t a civil recovery proceeding. Moreover, the painting along with assets restrained by the Income Tax Department is yet to sell 113 paintings. He added in his argument that the painting holds sentimental value for the family. The argument of the Appellant’s counsel was replied by the Counsel of ED that auction of painting was announced for a long time and the Appellant did have awareness about it. The Bombay High Court opined that proceeds from the auction must be deposited in the nationalized bank and clarification of receipt for the same should be submitted in the Court.
- Nirav Modi is a prime accused in fraud of USD 2 billion in Punjab National Bank (PNB), currently, lodging at Wandsworth prison in south-west London and wanted for his act in Rs 13,570 Crores loss caused to the PNB.
- He was arrested by Scotland-yard in March last year in connection to this case and extradition trial is due to begin on May 11 2020.
- Due to his act, he was considered by the Government of India as Fugitive under the Fugitive Economic Offender Act on 5th December 2019 but the confiscation of his properties is yet to be issued.
- The Bombay High Court opined that proceeds from the auction must be deposited in the nationalized bank and clarification of receipt for the same should be submitted in the Court.
- He added in his argument that the painting holds sentimental value for the family.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
Business Standard, UK court rejects diamond merchant Nirav Modi’s bail plea for fifth time