India apparently didn't show interest in pursuing the case of Nirav Modi, the fugitive diamantaire who was spotted in London last week claims a report by NDTV.
UK authorities needed more documents from India to speed up Modi's extradition but the government didn't pay attention to the demands.
Modi is the key accused in the over Rs. 13,000 crore PNB fraud.
The biggest scam in Indian banking history came to light last year. Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi allegedly connived with PNB employees to procure LoUs since 2011.
The scam, initially pegged at Rs. 280 crore, grew substantially with time, prompting ED and CBI to launch an investigation.
Choksi and Modi fled the country weeks before PNB revealed the bank had been cheated.
While Choksi obtained nationality of Antigua and is staying there, ambiguity over Modi's whereabouts persisted.
Though his passport was revoked, Modi continued to travel. He was reported to have spent some days in Hong Kong, China, before leaving for the UK.
He reportedly lives in a posh bungalow, wears an expensive jacket, and has reportedly started his new diamond business as well.
After The Telegraph tracked Modi down, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar assured that India has taken steps to ensure his return.
Kumar said it shouldn't be assumed that India isn't pursuing Modi's case like Vijay Mallya's. He added the UK has been sent an extradition request many times.
But the NDTV report claimed otherwise. The government seems to have taken a softer stand towards Modi.
India apprised the UK about Modi's case last year through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), the Serious Fraud Office in London said.
The treaty does away with the long process of catching offenders and allows the Home Ministry to directly get in touch with Britain's government via the High Commission.
Between Crown Prosecution Service and SFO, the latter was tasked with Modi's case.
By March, the SFO confirmed to India that Modi was in the UK. Lawyer Barry Stancombe, a junior barrister, was also assigned to help India in the case.
Reportedly, Stancombe and his team wrote three letters to India last summer seeking more documents in the case. But India didn't reply.
The lawyers also volunteered to visit India to collect more evidence.
By December, SFO stopped pursuing the case due to "lack of interest" on India's part. Meanwhile, Modi swung to action.
He hired legal firm Mischcon to look into his asylum request and his case is being handled by lawyer Kamal Rehman.
Another team of lawyers, led by Anand Doobey, is working on Modi's extradition case. Notably, the MEA has maintained silence on the revelations.
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