June 9, 2020 12:37:10 am
A special court on Monday partly allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) plea seeking to confiscate properties of diamond trader Nirav Modi as part of the proceedings under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
Modi, named as the main accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) alleged fraud case, was declared a fugitive economic offender last December under the Act enacted against those evading law by fleeing the country.
The ED had made a plea for the confiscation of a list of properties belonging to Modi, who is currently facing extradition proceedings in the United Kingdom. The PNB had also submitted a plea seeking that the assets secured with it as mortgage by Modi should not be included in the confiscation and that they be allowed to make recoveries from their sale.
The properties that were part of ED’s plea for confiscation included Modi’s residence at Worli in Mumbai; multiple office premises in south Mumbai, such as Rhythm House in Kala Ghoda; jewellery; cars and paintings valued at nearly Rs 2,000 crore, ED counsel Hiten Venegaonkar said.
The special court on Monday allowed for the confiscation of properties except those mortgaged with PNB. The court also directed PNB to approach appropriate authority for permission of their sale. The bank had said that among the properties mortgaged are bank accounts, stocks, valuables, investments and vehicles.
Among the properties part allowed for confiscation are valuable paintings belonging to Modi that were seized by the income tax department. “The applicant (ED) is at liberty to prosecute a remedy as per law in respect of the paintings seized by the income tax Department,” the court said in its order. It added that the confiscation can be made within a month of the order being issued.
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