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17 Apr 2019

Government removes ED Mumbai chief over Nirav Modi case controversy

Enforcement Directorate's Special Director in Mumbai, Vineet Agarwal, has been removed from the post by the government on Tuesday.

He was ousted over his alleged interference in relieving the investigating officer in Nirav Modi's money laundering case without following due procedure.

Officials said Agarwal's tenure has been reduced by three years. The 1994-batch Maharashtra-cadre IPS officer has been repatriated with immediate effect.

Here's more.

In context

Nirav Modi case row: ED's Mumbai chief removed

Orders issued relieving Agarwal from the post

The order for removing Agarwal was issued by the Union Finance Ministry after approval from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. Subsequently, the ED headquarters in Delhi issued the orders relieving Vineet Agarwal from the post of ED's Special Director in Mumbai


Charge handed over to Chennai Special Director in additional capacity

Enforcement Directorate's Special Director in Mumbai leads the agency's western region and has control over Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.

After Vineet Agarwal's removal from the post, the charge has been handed over to Enforcement Directorate's Special Director in Chennai in additional capacity.

In January 2017, Agarwal was sent to ED on deputation for five years by the government.

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Agarwal's order

Agarwal issued order relieving Joint Director from Nirav Modi probe

On 29 March, Vineet Agarwal's name came to light after he issued an order for relieving Joint Director in Mumbai, Satyabrat Kumar, from the Nirav Modi case investigation when the hearing in his extradition case was underway in a London court.

As Agarwal's order sparked a controversy, ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra issued a new order within hours, canceling the order signed by Agarwal.

Unnecessary controversy was created, say officials

Agarwal was found guilty of "exceeding his brief" and interfering with the ED Director's powers and official procedures. Officials said "unnecessary controversy was created and the March 29 incident was seen as an attempt to weaken Indian investigating agencies' efforts" to extradite Nirav Modi.

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