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Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail readies special cell for Nirav Modi; familiar to Vijay Mallya

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Following the court’s ruling, officials at Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail have stated that the prison has already readied a special cell which will lodge Nirav Modi.

Nirav Modi


In a big setback for fugitive Indian businessman Nirav Modi, a UK court on Thursday paved way for his extradition to India to stand trial in the 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. Following the court’s ruling, officials at Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail have stated that the prison has already readied a special cell which will lodge Nirav Modi. As per the official, Nirav Modi will be jailed in one of the three cells of barrack number 12 which is a high-security barrack.

“Preparations for lodging Nirav Modi in the jail have been completed and the prison cell is ready for him, whenever he is extradited,” the jail official said. This is incidentally the same barrack where Vijay Mallya is to be lodged once he’s extradited from the UK as well.

READ: Nirav Modi To Be Extradited To India, UK Court Says ‘has A Case To Answer For In India’

Arthur Road Jail’s special cell to lodge Nirav Modi

Earlier in 2019, Maharashtra’s prison department had shared information with the Centre regarding prison facilities and overall status of the prison for lodging the fugitive businessman. Following this, the Centre too sought information from the state home department as the extradition proceedings gained momentum in the Westminster Magistrates Court in the UK for Vijay Mallya. The jail official also remarked that the state government had submitted a letter of assurance to the Centre about the facilities which can be provided in the prison. 

As per what has been said about Arthur Road Jail Barrack 12, Nirav Modi will be lodged in a cell where the number of detainees will be few, unlike other cells. The barrack in which Nirav Modi will be lodged will provide him with over three square meters of personal space with a cotton mat, pillow, bedsheet and blanket. Moreover, Nirav Modi will also have sufficient light, ventilation and storage for personal belongings. Vijay Mallya had earlier opposed his own extradition citing apprehensions over the state of the prison in which he’d be lodged, post which the prosecution made clear the amenities on hand and reassured the court.

READ: CBI Issues Statement On Nirav Modi’s Extradition; Says ‘vindication Of Investigation’

UK Judge’s observations

Noting the ‘Letter of Understanding’ has been issued between 2011 and 2017 without being entered in the CBS system of the bank to mislead authorities, the judge did not accept Nirav Modi’s claim that he was involved in a legitimate business. The judge also ruled that there were clearly links between Nirav Modi and other conspirators including bank officials in question, stating that Nirav Modi’s companies were shadow companies operated by him. The judge was also satisfied that there is evidence that Nirav Modi could be convicted, while dismissing the fugitive diamantaire’s claims that Law & Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tried to influence case against the billionaire.

Noting the CBI’s investigation into Nirav Modi’s firms headed by ‘dummy partners’, the judge concluded that Nirav Modi’s companies were fraudulently operated – all these matters were up for trial in India, which could lead to his conviction. Dismissing the defence’s objection to ‘overcrowding in prisons’ and Nirav Modi’s ‘deteriorating health’, the judge ruled that his condition of depression ‘is not unusual’ and that his health condition is fit for jail. Stating that Nirav Modi can avail medical treatment of his choice in Mumbai, along with access to bathroom, hygienic food and water, 24×7 security in the prison, the judge ruled that Arthur Road Jail was fit for him. Observing that Nirav Modi had no immediate ‘suicide intentions’, the court also ruled that Nirav Modi can face proceedings in a healthier state in India.

Nirav Modi & PNB scam

The 49-year old, wanted in India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to nearly USD 2 billion in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) case, has been denied bail in several 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. Nirav Modi 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. During subsequent hearings, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Nirav Modi was the “principal beneficiary” of the fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) as part of a conspiracy to defraud PNB and then laundering the proceeds of crime.

Congress Questions Centre’s Efforts For Nirav Modi’s Extradition; Credits UK Legal System

(With PTI Inputs)

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