Mumbai: A Mumbai Court on Monday sought response from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on an application filed by diamantaire Nirav Modi in connection with the proceedings to declare him a fugitive economic offender (FEO) for his alleged involvement in the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan default case.
The application filed by Modi through his counsel, Vijay Aggarwal, came up for hearing before Additional Sessions Judge U M Mudhokar, who posted the matter for hearing to June 25.
In the application, the counsel sought compliance of an order of the Bombay High Court dated March 10, 2019, in which it had directed that the CBI and PMLA case pending against Modi and other co-accused “to be tried by a court which is a designated court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and also under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.”
Modi’s counsel said when the bail applications on behalf of some of the co-accused came up for hearing, it was informed by the court that it is not designated under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 even though it is a designated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
Aggarwal sought these cases to be transferred to a court which compiles with the High Court’s order.
The application was, however, opposed by ED on the ground that an attempt is being made to delay the proceedings.
The agency also contended that even though fugitive proceedings against Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya were initiated almost at the same time, Mallya has already been declared a fugitive economic offender while due to the legal impediments being created by the legal team of Modi, proceedings against him are still pending and arguments on the application under Section 4 of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA) have yet not even commenced.
Disputing the contentions, Aggarwal said that compliance of the order of the High Court is sine qua non (an essential condition) for the proceedings to continue.
He also said the reason for the court not being designated under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act) cannot be attributed to his client.