HC restrains CBI from arresting Nirav Modi’s brother-in-law | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC restrains CBI from arresting Nirav Modi’s brother-in-law

Jul 31, 2022 01:44 AM IST

Subsequently, he has also been granted a pardon by the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court.

Mumbai The Bombay high court has restrained the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from taking any coercive steps against Maiank Mehta, the brother-in-law of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, a prime accused in the 13,850 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank.

The senior counsel added that having bound himself to make full and true disclosure of the whole of the circumstances within his knowledge related to the offence and to every other person concerned in its commission, the Hong Kong resident cannot now be summoned or arrested or prosecuted by the CBI (HT PHOTO)
The senior counsel added that having bound himself to make full and true disclosure of the whole of the circumstances within his knowledge related to the offence and to every other person concerned in its commission, the Hong Kong resident cannot now be summoned or arrested or prosecuted by the CBI (HT PHOTO)

The division bench of justice Revati Mohite Dere and justice Sharmila Deshmukh issued the order on July 25 on a petition filed by Mehta, seeking orders to restrain the CBI from naming him as accused in the PNB fraud case against Nirav Modi and from arresting and prosecuting him in the case, especially in view of the fact that he had already become an approver in the money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the fraud.

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His counsel, senior advocate Amit Desai, pointed out to the court that ED had named Mehta as an accused in the money laundering case and he had cooperated with the investigators and has been accepted as approved by the agency. Subsequently, he has also been granted a pardon by the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court.

The senior counsel added that having bound himself to make full and true disclosure of the whole of the circumstances within his knowledge related to the offence and to every other person concerned in its commission, the Hong Kong resident cannot now be summoned or arrested or prosecuted by the CBI.

He added that CBI had no intention to name Mehta as an accused in the case or arrest him till June 2022, but when he went flying back to Hong Kong, after obtaining due permission from the special PMLA court he was abruptly stopped at the airport and stopped from flying abroad.

He said when Mehta again approached the special PMLA court, CBI for the first time informed the court that it had decided to make the Hong Kong resident an accused in the case. And, acting on the appeal filed by the CBI, HC has stayed the June 16 and June 30 PMLA court orders allowing him to fly back to Hong Kong.

In its reply to Mehta’s plea before the special PMLA court, CBI had claimed that Purvi and Maiank had facilitated Modi divert PNB funds and as such were co-conspirators in the 13,850 crore fraud.

CBI’s affidavit added that in November 2013, an amount of 30 Million USD was transferred from M/s. Pacific Diamond, FZE, a shell company floated by Nirav Modi, to Maiank Mehta’s account maintained with Barclays Bank, Singapore. The amount, according to CBI, was later transferred to Purvi’s bank accounts and converted into fixed deposits.

However, on July 25, CBI counsel Raja Thakare submitted that CBI’s investigation in the case is still in progress and the central agency was yet to arrive at a conclusion as to Mehta’s status – whether or not he should be made accused in the case.

The investigation by CBI has revealed that between 2011 and 2017, all 1,214 Letters of Undertakings of USD 3731110331 ( 23,780 crore approximately) were fraudulently issued by PNB to Modi’s firms Diamonds R US, Stellar Diamonds and Solar Exports, out of which 150 LoUs remained outstanding – totalling to 6,498.20 crore and resulting in loss of 6,805.24 crore to PNB.

In a similar case involving PNB, the investigation has revealed that fraud amounting to 7,080 crore has been allegedly committed by entities under the control of Modi’s maternal uncle, Mehul Choksi. The entities controlled by Choksi also enjoyed credit exposure from a consortium of 32 banks and had an outstanding balance of around 5,100 crore as of December 31, 2017.

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