NCLAT Denies Prosecution Against Ex-PNB Exec Involved in Nirav Modi Embezzlement Case

Nirav Modi || Photograph by dnaindia.com
Nirav Modi || Photograph by dnaindia.com

Order against former PNB Executive Director in reltion to Nirav Modi case kept aside by NCLAT

NCLAT, also known as The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal has decided to put aside the prosecution of the case against the former Executive Director of the Punjab National Bank in a case related to the scam of Nirav Modi.

In January of last year, The National Law Tribunal Company started the proceeding against 19 people, including the former executive director of the Punjab National Bank, K.V. Brahmaji Rao. The company had also gone forward to freeze the assets of the individuals who were linked to the case. The ruling was based on a petition filed by the corporate affairs ministry.

Rao filed an appeal against the ruling of the NCLT challenging their decision.

The appellate tribunal in its order has found that the supreme court ruled by putting aside freezing the assets of Usha Ananthasubramanian, who was the managing director and CEO of the Punjab National Bank. The supreme court also ruled to give relief to Rao. The NCLAT board said that the Supreme Court in the Ananthasubramanian case said, “in the person who may be the head of some other organizations cannot be roped and his or her assets cannot be attached in exercising the powers under Sections 337 & 339 of the Act.”

NCLAT had said that as Rao was the Executive Director of PNB, Head Office, New Delhi i.e. employee of other organization, he can not be impleaded as the respondent in the company petition that has been filed against Nirav Modi Group and Gitanjali Group of companies.

The appellate tribunal added that this case is similar to the case against Ananthasubramanian and so, the order is put aside, keeping in mind the judgment given by the apex institution of India, the supreme court. “The appeal is allowed,” they added.

The government had taken the step and moved NCLT to freeze the assets of those nineteen people who were alleged and the charge sheet was filed by CBI in Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Group’s cases. The CBI filed charge sheet also claims that the people were found to have acted dishonesty and fraudulently with other persons.

Development of the Nirav Modi case:

On January 29th, 2018, Punjab National Bank filed a police complaint against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, and others accusing them to have committed fraud of Rs. 2.81 billion. Then a CBI investigation was launched to look into the matter. The Enforcement Directorate sized gold and diamond from the house and office of Nirav Modi. The total weight of the seized gold and diamonds was estimated to be Rs. 56.64 billion. In February of 2018, two PNB officials were arrested by the CBI linked to the case. The CBI also arrested an executive of the accessed Nirav Modi.

In the same month, the passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi were suspended for a month. CBI also arrested CFO of Nirav Modi’s firm and two other senior executives. Nirav Modi’s farmhouse in Alibaug was also sealed. Nine luxury cars of Nirav Modi was also seized.

A magistrate court issued a bailable arrest warrant against Nirav Modi at the end of February of 2018. In June, Interpol issued Red Corner notice against the diamond dealer for money laundering. In the same month, ED also moved in a special court of Mumbai and appealed for the extradition of the accused Nirav Modi. In August, the Indian Government sent a request for extradition of Nirav Modi to the authorities in the United Kingdom.

The CBI also requested the Interpol Manchester to detain the accused. The Manchester-based Interpole informer the CBI about the presence of Nirav Modi in London.

In December, United Kingdom informed India about the presence of the accused diamond dealer in the country. In March, the following year, “the Telegraph” confronted Nirav Modi in the streets of London and confirms about his presence in the UK.

On the same day, ED informed that the UK government has sent the extradition request of the fugitive to a UK court for further proceedings.

Nine days later the Westminster Court issued an arrest warrant against Nirav Modi. This was after the Indian Government’s request was channeled to the court by the UK home office.

On 20th March 2019, the alleged fugitive was caught at last in London and was produced in the Westminster Court which denied his bail appeal. He was sent to Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth till March 29th. On March 29th the court denies a second appeal for bail by the accused. The court had also declared that there are “substantial grounds” to believe that he will fail to surrender.

On July 9th, 2020 the accused last appeared in the Magistrate Court for a 28-day call over. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrate Court via video link. The second leg of his extradition trial will begin in September.

 

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