A special Fugitive Economic Offenders Act court in Mumbai on Saturday summoned fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi‘s brother Neeshal Modi and sister Purvi Modi as they have been “enumerated as an interested person” in an application made under the new Act by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Nirav, according to PTI.
Asking them to appear before it on September 25 at 11 am, the court said their assets will be confiscated under the newly enacted Act aimed at curbing big-ticket economic crimes if they fail to come to the court. Nirav — who has been accused of cheating Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 13,500 crore — has also been summoned under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act on the same date.
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 them. The ED had charged Neeshal and Purvi for indulging in money laundering and subsequently, escaping from India as the alleged scam came to light.
The notice against the duo 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).”
On the other hand, the third public notice against Nirav asked him to depose on the same date and time as it said that he is accused in a money laundering case and “as you have left India and are refusing to come back to face trial in that case, you should be declared a fugitive under the above-mentioned Ordinance (now the Act).”
Therefore, the judge said in the public declaration, “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 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).”
“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 which are 4, Grosvenor House, 2nd floor on Peddar Road and four flats in Samudra Mahal apartments on Dr Annie Besant Road, in Mumbai.
On July 25 the same court had issued the summons to Nirav Modi after the ED made an application seeking to declare the designer diamond jeweller a ‘fugitive economic offender’. Officials at the Surat customs department have begun the procedure to declare him as an absconder, submitting an application under Section 82 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) at the district Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (CJM) court on Thursday. The hearing of the application has been slated for August 13.
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– on September 26.
Nirav Modi and Choksi are being investigated by the ED and the CBI after it was detected that they allegedly cheated PNB of more than Rs 13,400 crore with the purported involvement of a few of its employees. The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in January this year, after which PNB officials reported it to the probe agencies.
(With PTI inputs)