London: PNB scam accused Nirav Modi will on Thursday be produced for a regular remand hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. Lodged at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London, Nirav Modi is fighting extradition to India and will appear via a video-call from prison. Also Read - Nirav Modi's Seized Artworks, Handbags, Watches, Cars to go Under Hammer at Saffronart Two Auctions
His extradition trial is scheduled for five days starting from May 11, with the case management hearings set to begin soon. Also Read - PNB Scam Case: UK Court Extends Remand of Nirav Modi, Asks Him to Appear on January 30
The 48-year-old had previously made a last-ditch bail application in November last year, guaranteeing an “unprecedented” house arrest. He had also cited mental health issues from being behind bars at Wandsworth since his arrest in March 2019. Also Read - Mumbai: Special Court Files Supplementary Chargesheet in PNB Scam Case; CBI Accuses Nirav Modi of Criminal Intimidation
The bail plea was, however, turned down by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot over fears of witness intimidation and failure to surrender before the court for his extradition trial this year.
The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian government in the extradition proceedings, said that there was no further prospect of an appeal for bail in a higher court as the UK High Court had already turned down Modi’s plea earlier last year.
Meanwhile, Modi is expected to appear for ‘call-over’ hearings every 28 days at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, until the case management hearings for his extradition trial begin.
Nirav Modi and his nephew Mehul Choksi are the two main accused in the PNB loan default case and have left the country in January 2018 when the scam came to the light. While he was located in London, his uncle Choksi, meanwhile, surfaced in Antigua and Barbuda and took up its citizenship.
(With agency inputs)