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PNB bank fraud: Nirav Modi calls investigation one-sided, seeks stay on money laundering case

The special court had last month granted four weeks’ time to Modi’s legal team to file reply to the ED’s plea.

mumbai Updated: Oct 29, 2018 23:53 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
Nirav Modi,Nirav Modi case,PNB bank
Neerav Modi has applied for a stay on the proceeding(HT Photo)

Instead of responding to a plea of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to declare Nirav Modi a “fugitive economic offender” under a recent enactment, lawyers for the diamantaire have moved 10 applications seeking a stay on proceedings before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court.

The special court had last month granted four weeks’ time to Modi’s legal team to file reply to the ED’s plea. On Monday, when the case was scheduled for hearing, Modi’s lawyers Vijay Agrawal and Ashul Agrawal moved 10 applications questioning the legality of the plea and sought a stay on the entire proceeding.

Modi has claimed that the plea filed by the Central agency is not maintainable as the ED has not followed proper procedure. Further, they have claimed that the plea was filed under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 which has since been repealed and replaced by the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018. However, according to the defendant’s legal team, the agency has not followed the requisite procedure under the Act to move ahead with the complaint.

In another plea, Modi has raised questions regarding the investigation and claimed that it is one sided. Modi has also alleged that the ED concealed several important documents and facts from the court including Modi’s replies to the summons issued by the agency. Agrawal contended in court that he was ready to cooperate with the investigation and also replied to all summons issued.

Modi’s lawyer has also sought a stay on the proceedings, claiming that the Appellate Tribunal under PMLA has maintained ‘status quo’ on Modi’s properties which are attached by ED. Modi’s plea stated that the tribunal, according to its October 5 order, had restrained parties from disposing or creating third-party interest in the properties valued at ₹523.72 crore.

The court has now asked the ED to respond to Modi’s application by next month.

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 23:46 IST