Mumbai: A senior executive of fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi’s company Firestar International, accused in the Rs 23,780 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) Scam, was denied bail on Monday by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in his second bail plea on merits of the case.
The court in its order said that in no case will the court grant bail to him keeping in mind the allegations of tampering of evidence, role he played in the crime and his involvement with the main accused Nirav Modi in the criminal conspiracy. It noted further that Nirav Modi is in the UK facing extradition and two other accused Neeshal Modi (Nirav Modi’s brother) and Subhash Parab (Neeshal’s associate) are still absconding against whom non-bailable warrants have been filed.
The 45-year-old Arjun Patil, Navi Mumbai resident had claimed bail on the grounds that the supplementary chargesheet had been filed in the case in 2019. He said in his plea that he had never spoken with Nirav Modi and that he has been in jail for the past three years.
Regarding the allegations of his role in concealing documents related to the case after the registration of the offence by the CBI by shifting them to a law firm, Patil contended that he was involved only in clerical work and that the documents had been shifted on the instructions of a co-accused.
The CBI’s special public prosecutor A. Limosin had opposed his plea and told the court that Patil was engaged in preparing fraudulent applications for issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) in connivance with other co-accused. The agency further said that he was instrumental in shifting of incriminatory material from the firm’s Kamala Mills office to the law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas at Peninsula Business Park in Lower Parel. On a day 50 cartons of documents had been shifted, it told the court.
Last month, the court had rejected the plea for interim bail of Patil that he had filed on grounds of the pandemic. His first bail plea on merits of the case was rejected in June 2018, after filing of the chargesheet in the case.