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PNB fraud: Non-bailable warrants issued against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi

The Enforcement Directorate had issued summons against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. Both the diamond traders, who have fled the country, failed to appear before the ED, prompting it to move PMLA court.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2018 22:43 IST
HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PNB fraud,PNB fraud case,Nirav Modi
People walk past as CBI team seals Punjab National Bank’s South Mumbai branch at Brady House last month. (PTI File Photo)

A special court on Saturday issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, promoter of Gitanjali Gems, in the Rs12,636-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.

The NBWs were issued by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court based on an application moved by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), one of the agencies investigating the case.

The warrants will now be executed through the ministry of external affairs (MEA), as both Modi and Choski are currently not in India. It will then be sent to various countries to get the duo extradited.

The agency will wait for 30 days, which is mandatory under the law, before seeking proclamation against Modi and Choksi from the court.

The ED had earlier issued summonses to Modi and Choksi, asking them to appear before the central agency. The two diamond traders, however, failed to appear before the ED, promoting the agency to move the PMLA court for issuance of NBWs.

The first summons was issued on February 15, to which they responded on February 16 expressing their inability to appear before the ED. The second and third summonses were issued on February 17 and February 23, asking them to appear on February 22 and 27, respectively. However, the duo failed to appear on both occasion, thus prompting the agency to seek NBWs against them.

Meanwhile, Vijay Aggarwal, Nirav Modi’s lawyer has said they are contemplating challenging the NBW in the high court. “We are considering challenging the order in the high court on behalf of Nirav Modi,” Aggarwal told ANI. “But the final decision shall be taken only upon seeing the order. We have not even been given a copy of application that ED filed.”

The ED is probing separate cases against Modi and Choksi for money laundering, in connection with the PNB fraud.

First Published: Mar 03, 2018 17:06 IST