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Nirav Modi plays health card, seeks bail citing anxiety, depression

Playing the health card to get out of jail, fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi has filed another bail application citing "anxiety" and "depression". He has requested the authorities to keep him under house arrest as he is facing health issues, reported India Today. As per UK laws, a prisoner has to mention a new ground in case previous application is rejected.  Modi is the main accused in the Rs 13,700 crore Punjab National Bank fraud.

Rejecting his bail plea for the fourth time on October 17, a London court had remanded Modi into custody till November 11. His extradition trial to India is scheduled between May 11 and 15 in 2020. Till then, he must re-appear via videolink every 28 days for call-over hearings until the case management for the trial kicks in from February next year.

Nirav Modi has been lodged at South-West London's Wandsworth jail, one of England's most overcrowded jails, since his arrest on March 19. He was arrested after an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard on charges brought by the Indian government, which is being represented by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in court.

Since his arrest, his legal team, led by solicitor Anand Doobay and barrister Clare Montgomery, have made four bail applications, which have been rejected each time due to Modi being deemed a flight risk.

The CPS had told the court that Modi had travelled despite the Indian government revoking his passport and issuing a red corner notice against him before his arrest. The CPS warned he could flee again if he was given bail. Westminster Magistrates' Court was earlier told that Modi was the "principal beneficiary" of the fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) as part of a conspiracy to defraud PNB.

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