Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi. (HT FILE)
Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi. (HT FILE)

Refurbished cell at Arthur Road jail awaits high-profile inmate like Nirav Modi

Cell number two in Barrack 12 of Arthur Road jail which was refurbished in June 2019 has been maintained by the jail authorities in the proper condition anticipating a high-profile inmate such as fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi, a prime accused in 13,600-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank.
By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 12:19 AM IST

Cell number two in Barrack 12 of Arthur Road jail which was refurbished in June 2019 has been maintained by the jail authorities in the proper condition anticipating a high-profile inmate such as fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi, a prime accused in 13,600-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank.

On Thursday, Modi lost his bid to avoid extradition from the UK to India to face charges that he was involved in a 13,600 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank when district judge Samuel Goozee ruled in London that the jeweller has a case to answer before Indian courts.

Jail authorities said that the 300-square feet cell has been made to provide its inmate the facilities of a well-equipped apartment with French windows for ensuring ventilation and outside view, a toilet and shower with round-the-clock water supply. For a soothing effect, the walls of the cell have been painted white.

According to SN Pandey, who retired as director general of prisons two days ago, the cell has been maintained as it is since 2019. “The cell had been renovated also keeping in mind the security of the inmate,” said a jail official.

Barrack 12 of the prison is a located in high-security area of the jail, in a two-storey building on inner side of the Arthur Road jail. It has two cells each on the ground and first floors. Each cell is meant to be shared by three inmates, but sources said cell no. 2 on the first floor of the barrack was made only to house high-profile inmates such as Nirav Modi and liquor Baron Vijay Mallya.

Jail officials said each cell in barrack 12 has an attached toilet and an isolated courtyard for the inmates to stroll, keeping in mind the high threat to the occupants of the cells. A cushion and pillow — considered luxury in jails — will also be provided to inmates, said jail officials.

Ceiling fans are placed high on the ceiling to ensure inmates cannot reach it. Besides, the cells are under round-the-clock CCTV surveillance with guards posted inside and outside the barrack.

Video-conferencing facility has also been provided in the barrack to produce the inmates before courts through virtual mode whenever required.

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