PNB fraud: HC asks ED to submit details of seizures from Firestar Diamond
Gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs5,100 crore have been seized by ED from Nirav Modi stores in connection with the PNB fraud case
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to present a complete sequence of facts and documents such as Search Warrant and Enforcement Case Registration Report pursuant to which a search and seizure of immovable property belonging to Nirav Modi’s Firestar Diamonds International Pvt. Ltd took place.
A bench comprising justices S. Muralidhar and I.S. Mehta asked ED to give details of certain ‘material particulars’, namely, the value of property seized from the premises of Firestar Diamond, the authority under which the search and seizure was conducted, officers that were present at that time and documents etc.
The court was hearing Firestar Diamond’s plea seeking a stay on the seizure of its property in connection with the probe in the Rs12,700 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.
Gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs5,100 crore have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate from 17 premises belonging to Modi across Delhi, Mumbai, Surat and Hyderabad.
Vijay Agarwal, appearing for Firestar Diamond, objected to the seizure of property belonging to Firestar and its subsequent retention in a locker with PNB. He argued that ED should have given reasons for the search and seizure then and there.
Firestar Diamond has also challenged the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) that allow the ED to conduct search and seizure of property.
Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gems managing director Mehul Choksi are being investigated by ED, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the income tax department for allegedly defrauding PNB of Rs12,700 crore.
The matter is listed for hearing on 19 March.
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