Nirav Modi is an accused in the PNB fraud scam
New Delhi: A Special Fugitive Economic Offenders Act Court in Mumbai on Saturday issued public summons to the sister and brother of Nirav Modi, the main accused in the $2 billion bank fraud case, asking them to appear before it on September 25. In case they failed to appear, their assets will be confiscated under the newly enacted Act, aimed at curbing big-ticket economic crimes, the court said.
The court of M S Azmi, also the special judge for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases in Mumbai, issued three public notices in leading dailies on Saturday, naming Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Modi and brother Neeshal Modi as they had been “enumerated as an interested person” in an application made under the new Act by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the diamond merchant. The two have been charged by the ED to have indulged in money laundering and subsequently, escaping from India as the alleged scam came to light.
The notice against Purvi and Neeshal show causes them to explain as to “why the properties mentioned in the application (filed by the ED earlier), in which you have pecuniary interest and/or otherwise, should not be confiscated under the said Ordinance (now the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act).” The court has asked the duo to appear before it on September 25 at 11 am, the same date on which Nirav was also summoned by it. The third public notice against Nirav Modi asked him to depose on the same date and time since he was the accused in a money laundering case and “as you left India and was now refusing to come back to face trial in that case, you should be declared a fugitive under the above-mentioned Ordinance (now the Act).”
“I issue notice to you (Nirav) to show cause as to why the said application for declaring you a fugitive should not be allowed and as to why the properties mentioned in the application, in which you have pecuniary interest and/or otherwise, should not be confiscated under the said Ordinance (now the Act),” the judge said in the public declaration. “I, therefore, direct Nirav Deepak Modi to remain present before me… on or before September 25 at 11 AM, falling which the said application shall be proceeded with as per the Ordinance/Rules thereafter,” the notice said.
The notice bears two addressees of Nirav Modi — 4, Grosvenor House, second floor on Peddar Road and four flats in Samudra Mahal apartments on Dr Annie Besant Road — in Mumbai.
The same court had on July 25 issued summons to Nirav Modi after the ED made an application seeking to declare the designer diamond jeweller a ‘fugitive economic offender’. It had issued a similar notice of appearance under the fugitive law against Nirav Modi’s uncle and co-accused in the case, Mehul Choksi, and had asked him to appear before it the next day (September 26). The agency had moved the court seeking to declare the diamond traders as ‘fugitive economic offenders’ and confiscate their assets worth Rs 3,500 crore in the case.
The ED had earlier moved a similar application against Vijay Mallya in the Rs 9,000-crore alleged bank loan fraud case and the court summoned him for August 27. In Nirav Modi’s case, the agency sought to confiscate assets, both movable and immovable, including those located in the UK and the UAE.