February 5, 2021 1:14:55 am
A MONTH after fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi’s younger sister and brother-in-law turned witnesses against him in two cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, they have now sought cancellation of the non-bailable warrants issued against them.
The duo has sought cancellation of the warrants citing the court’s approval to their pleas, making them prosecution witnesses in the cases.
Purvi Mehta and her husband Maiank Mehta had filed pleas before the special court, seeking to turn approvers in the case in December. They said they were willing to provide “substantial and important evidence” relevant to Modi and his dealings.
On Thursday, Purvi and Maiank sought the cancellation of the non-bailable warrants issued against them on the ground that the court has accepted their pleas to become approvers. The special court has directed the ED to file a reply to their applications.
Purvi, a Belgian national and Maiank, a British national, were named in the prosecution complaint filed by the ED in two cases. Subsequently, the court had issued process and a non-bailable warrant against them in June 2018. A red-corner notice was also issued against them, which remains in force as they were declared to be absconding accused.
Since the court allowed their applications to become prosecution witnesses in the case against Modi and others, Purvi and Maiank have said that they will appear before the court whenever possible. They had told the court that on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are restrictions on international and domestic travel around the world and hence, they are unable to currently travel. They had also expressed their willingness for their statements to be recorded over video conference.
The duo’s applications stated that they wanted to distance themselves from the fugitive businessman, stating that their personal and professional lives had come to a “standstill” because of Modi’s “alleged criminal activities”
Modi and others are facing cases filed by the CBI and the ED for allegedly committing fraud of more than Rs 6,498.20 crore over the issuance of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs).
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