London | Jagran News Desk: The Royal Courts of Justice in London on Wednesday denied bail to fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who is fighting his extradition from Britain to India in the nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case.

The UK High Court had yesterday Modi’s appeal against a lower court’s order which had denied him bail. This is the fourth consecutive time that his bail plea has been turned down.

 Judge Ingrid Simler at the Royal Courts of Justice said that there are substantial grounds to believe that Modi will fail to surrender.

Moreover, the judge felt that there could be interference with the witnesses and obstruction of justice.

Earlier, Modi's legal team presented arguments in an attempt to persuade the judge to overturn the Westminster Magistrates' Court ruling to deny bail during three previous attempts, for fear that the 48-year-old would fail to surrender.

Modi has already been denied bail at three previous attempts at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, as the judge ruled there was "substantial risk" that he would fail to surrender and deemed the bail security offered as insufficient.

He was arrested by uniformed Scotland Yard officers on an extradition warrant from a Metro Bank branch in central London on March 19 and has been in prison since.

Modi, who has remained behind bars in judicial custody since his arrest in March, had the automatic right to file an application in the higher court and did not require permission to appeal.

At the first case management hearing in the case at Westminster Magistrates' Court in May, the issue of bail was not raised and Modi was further remanded in judicial custody until June 27, when he is scheduled to appear via videolink. However, the High Court ruling on Wednesday could alter that position. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta