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India
27 Sep 2018

#PNBScam: Choksi gets time to reply to ED plea

#PNBscam: Choksi given time to reply to ED-plea

A special court yesterday gave diamond jeweler Mehul Choksi, a key accused in PNB bank fraud case, time till October 30 to file his reply to an Enforcement Directorate (ED) plea seeking to declare him a "fugitive" under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Earlier, the Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court had summoned Choksi before it on September 26, while hearing ED's plea.

In context

#PNBscam: Choksi given time to reply to ED-plea

ED's complaint

Court directs Nirav Modi to reply by Oct 29

Appearing before the court presided over by Judge MS Azmi, Choksi's lawyer Sanjay Abbot said they have been provided a copy of ED's complaint in the $2 billion fraud case and would need time to file a reply.

Following this, the judge directed them to file a reply by October 30.

Meanwhile, Nirav Modi was asked Tuesday to file his reply by October 29.

Action

ED wants court nod to confiscate Choksi, Modi's assets

The ED had moved the court seeking to declare Choksi and Nirav Modi as "fugitive economic offenders" and nod to confiscate their assets worth Rs. 3,500cr.

The probe agency, empowered to enforce the new law enacted by the NDA government to curb big economic crimes and check the escape of perpetrators from India, had filed two separate applications against Nirav Modi and Choksi.

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Explanation

What is Fugitive Economic Offenders Act?

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, introduced in the Lok Sabha on 12 March 2018, is aimed at deterring economic offenders from evading the process of law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

It seeks to expedite recovery of losses incurred by banks and other entities by confiscating their properties, both movable and immovable, including those located in the UK and the UAE.

Fraud

Choksi, Nirav Modi cheated PNB of Rs. 13,400 crore

Nirav Modi and Choksi are being investigated by the ED and the CBI after it was detected that they allegedly cheated PNB (Punjab National Bank) of more than Rs. 13,400cr with the purported involvement of a few of its employees.

The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, came to light in January, after which PNB officials reported it to the probe agencies.

ED filed criminal complaints, issued non-bailable warrants against Choksi, Modi

Two criminal complaints were filed by the ED in these instances after taking cognizance of the CBI FIRs. Non-bailable warrants were issued against both Nirav Modi and Choksi. Also, an Interpol "red corner" arrest warrant has been issued against Nirav Modi on ED's request.

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