SFIO questions PNB chief Sunil Mehta in Nirav Modi case

Isaac Cain
March 8, 2018

A consortium of 31 banks, led by ICICI Bank, had lent about Rs 5,300 crore working capital to Mehul Choksi-led Gitanjali Gems, while Modi firms Stellar Diamonds, Solar Exports and Diamonds together borrowed about Rs 4,000 crore, of which PNB's exposure stands in excess of Rs 1,700 crore.

Meanwhile, the PNB filed a second complaint with the CBI on February 13.

Modi and his three firms Firestar Diamond International, Firestar International Private Limited, and Radhashir Jewellery Company Limited have been found to be fit to be prosecuted under Sections 132, 135 (1)(a), 135 (1)(b), 135 (1)(i) of Customs Act, 1962 and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.

However, Modi, who is said to have left the country before criminal cases were registered, had failed to appear before the ED, prompting the agency to move the PMLA court for issuance of NBWs against them. While ICICI Bank is the leader of the consortium, Axis Bank had the largest exposure to PNB through the fraudulent LoUs, The Times of India reported. "So, when all the agencies were alerted, how were these people allowed to escape from the country, from the law of the land?", he asked.

The petition also sought framing of guidelines for conducting search and seizure by the ED, including on the aspect of whether the victim can be permitted to be a part of search and seizure itself, in order to ensure fair and transparent functioning of the ED.

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The court will hear the plea March 7.

The party said the governments of Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis appear to have given a one-way-ticket to cheat and scoot.

He said the prime minister should tell the people of the country through Parliament on the steps he is taking to get back those accused of committing bank frauds and assure them on the steps he is taking to bring the guilty to book.

Though Nirav Modi (R) has not yet been arrested, India's External Affairs Ministry has revoked his passport as well as his uncle Mehul Choksi (L) for their involvement in the scam. Even more inexcusable is the fact that of Rs. 19,317 crore, a pittance of Rs. 2.50 crore could be recovered.

He said, "We have a situation, but Modi ji is silent on it".

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