Delhi HC serves notice to ED over Nirav Modi’s plea in PNB scam, says details 'sketchy'

Issuing a notice to the investigating authority, the Delhi High Court observed that it is not clear under what authority the ED went to search the properties.

Delhi HC serves notice to ED over Nirav Modi’s plea in PNB scam, says details 'sketchy'

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate on a plea of absconding billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi in connection with the Punjab National Bank scam. The court said that there’s no clarity on the amount involved in the case.

Issuing a notice to the investigating authority, the Delhi High Court observed that it is not clear under what authority the ED went to search the properties.

Calling the case “sketchy”, the High Court said, “(The court) wants to wait to see what the ED has to say because Vijay Aggarwal (lawyer of Nirav Modi) himself doesn’t seem to be too sure of the facts of the case.”

The court fixed the case for further hearing on March 19.

Talking to mediapersons later, Nirav Modi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said that the court asked the ED to present all documents and called the case sketchy as they do not have all facts. He said, “We told them that this is the basis of our petition that there is no information.”

This comes two days after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Sunday sanctioned the prosecution of the absconding diamond trader and his three firms in connection with billion dollar fraud case.

Nirav Modi will be prosecuted for wrong declaration of value and quantity of the imported Cut and Polished Diamonds, Pearls to Customs and diversion of the Duty Exempted goods to the domestic tariff area clandestinely, the report had said.

Modi and his three firms Firestar Diamond International, Firestar International Private Limited, and Radhashir Jewellery Company Limited have been found to be fit to be prosecuted under Sections 132, 135(1)(a), 135(1)(b), 135(1)(i) of Customs Act, 1962 and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.

The ED had earlier issued summons to Modi, asking him to appear before the central agency.

However, Modi, who is said to have left the country before criminal cases were registered, had failed to appear before the ED, prompting the agency to move the PMLA court for issuance of NBWs against them. On February 27, the ED had moved the court seeking an NBW against Modi.

(With agency inputs)

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