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PNB scam: Declaration of Nirav Modi as fugitive challenged on legal grounds

The Enforcement Directorate has opposed the application moved by Nirav Modi's legal team stating that it is a ploy to delay the fugitive proceedings against the absconding diamantaire.

Munish Pandey   Mumbai     Last Updated: June 17, 2019  | 22:20 IST
PNB scam: Declaration of Nirav Modi as fugitive challenged on legal grounds
Fugitive proceedings against Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya were initiated around the same time.

Diamantaire Nirav Modi, who was expected to be declared fugitive on the request of central investigative agencies, has hit a roadblock as his counsel Vijay Aggarwal has opposed the move, citing the power of the court.

Nirav Modi's fugitive matter was fixed for hearing on Monday before the judge UM Mudhokar at City Civil and Sessions Court in Mumbai. Representing Nirav Modi, Aggarwal argued that that the said court is not designated under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, even though it is a designated court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

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However, the application moved by Aggarwal was opposed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on grounds that several applications have been moved in the past on behalf of Modi which have been dismissed and now an attempt is being made to further delay the proceedings by moving the present application.

It was contended by the ED that the fugitive proceedings against Modi and Vijay Mallya were initiated almost at the same time. Mallya was declared a fugitive economic offender six months ago, however, legal impediments created by Modi's legal team has impeded the fugitive proceedings against him for more than a year now. The agency stated that arguments on the application under Section 4 of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act have yet not even commenced.

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The court has issued a notice on Aggarwal's application and adjourned the hearing for June 25.

Once Nirav Modi is declared an economic fugitive, the ED will have the power to attach his off-shore properties.

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