A Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai on Thursday issued summons against absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case and has asked them to appear before it in September or be declared Fugitive Economic Offenders.
Nirav Modi has been asked to appear before the special PMLA court on September 25 while Mehul Choksi is ordered to appear on September 26.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier this month filed two separate applications in the special court against Modi and Choksi under Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018.
ED also sought orders for confiscation of their assets in India, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates worth Rs 3,500 crore.
In its application to court, ED seeks to confiscate moveable and immoveable assets of the accused.
This comes after Choksi moved to the special court seeking cancellation of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him earlier this month.
Choksi filed the application, under Section 70(2) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
According to the application, Choksi is a “law abiding citizen” and “never shied away from the investigation or the investigating agencies and duly responded to all the communications received by him from the investigating agencies.”
It states that due to ill health, Choksi left for abroad for a regular health checkup.
Citing example of mob lynching in India, Choksi in the application stated that he fears for his life. Choksi stated that following persons have “grievances and anger” against him – the existing employees whose salaries and dues have not been paid because of freezing of the accounts; the families of detained employees who have been arrested without any rhyme or reason; the landlords whose premises the companies had taken on rent, who have not been paid their dues; the customers whose jewellery in showroom have been taken away by the Enforcement Directorate (ED); the creditors of supplies and services, who have not been paid their dues.
The PNB detected the multi-crore scam earlier this year wherein Nirav and Choksi had allegedly cheated the bank to the tune of USD 2 billion, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.