The Bombay high court.

PNB fraud: Nirav Modi’s Mumbai penthouse won’t be auctioned before December 14, ED tells HC

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday assured the Bombay excessive courtroom {that a} plush triplex penthouse at Samudra Mahal in Worli, Mumbai, owned by fugitive diamond dealer Nirav Modi — a first-rate accused within the Rs13,500 crore fraud on the Punjab National Bank (PNB), won’t be auctioned earlier than December 14.

The assurance got here in response to a petition filed by Nirav Modi’s son Rohin, difficult confiscation of the property, claiming that it belonged to a Trust settled in his title.

On June 8, 2020, a particular PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) courtroom in Mumbai has ordered confiscation of Nirav Modi’s movable and immovable properties price Rs1,396 crore.

The order has come on an utility filed by ED below provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) Act, 2018, and the properties to be confiscated embrace Modi’s financial institution balances in India and England, as additionally his immovable properties in India, UAE and England.

Rohin’s counsel, advocate Amit Sibal, submitted that the Samudra Mahal property didn’t belong to any particular person, however to Rohin Trust. He added that provisions of the FEO Act require notices to be issued to each particular person earlier than ordering confiscation of any property.

But, no discover was issued to Robin, though he’s the beneficiary of the Rohin Trust and the order was handed with out granting him a possibility of listening to.

Sibal submitted that the Samudra Mahal property couldn’t be labelled as “proceeds of crime” because it was purchased in 2006 whereas the alleged crime — the huge fraud at PNB — was dedicated 2011 onwards.

ED’s counsel, advocate Hiten Venegaonkar, mentioned that Rohin is barely 10℅ beneficiary of the Trust and its main beneficiaries have been his mother and father, and one in all them — Nirav Modi — was declared a fugitive offender by the particular courtroom in December 2019.

Also, Venegaonkar mentioned, the petitioner was minor on the related time and his father and pure guardian was represented earlier than the particular courtroom, so Rohin can not declare that he was not represented or heard earlier than passing of the confiscation order.

The ED’s lawyer then requested the courtroom to defer the listening to until December 14. Venegaonkar then assured the courtroom that “nothing will happen” as regards the property until December 14.

On January 31, 2018, the Central Bureau of Investigation has registered an offence below numerous sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the related provisions of the Indian Penal Code in opposition to Modi and a number of other others, together with two officers of the PNB.

According to the criticism lodged by PNB, between February and May 2017, Nirav Modi and his partnership companies received fraudulently issued 150 Letters of Undertaking (LOUs) from Brady House department of PNB and duped the general public sector financial institution to the tune of USD1,015.35 million, equal to Rs6,498.20 crore.

The same offence is registered in opposition to Mehul Choksi for duping PNB of crores of rupees by utilizing the identical modus operandi.