PNB fraud: Nirav Modi’s Firestar Diamond moves Delhi HC against ED’s seizure of its property
New Delhi: Nirav Modi’s Firestar Diamond International Pvt. Ltd moved the Delhi high court on Tuesday against Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) seizure of its property in connection with the probe in the Rs12,700 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The matter is listed for hearing on 7 March before a bench of Justices S. Muralidhar and I.S. Mehta.
Apart from asking for ED’s order of search and seizure of its properties to be set aside, Modi also sought copies of the search warrant and other documents pursuant to which the search and seizure was conducted by ED at the premises of Firestar Diamond.
The petition also challenges 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.
Modi and Gitanjali Gems managing director Mehul Choksi are being investigated by the ED, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well as the income tax (I-T) department for allegedly defrauding PNB of Rs12,700 crore.
Gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs5,100 crore have been seized by ED from 17 premises belonging to Modi across Delhi, Mumbai, Surat and Hyderabad.
ED has also seized nine luxury cars including a Rolls Royce Ghost, two Mercedes Benz GL Class cars, one Porsche Panamera, three Honda cars and one Toyota Fortuner, belonging to Modi.
It has also frozen Rs30 crore in bank accounts and shares worth Rs13.86 crore held by him. Additionally, mutual funds and shares worth Rs94.52 crore belonging to the Modi and Choksi groups have also been frozen by the ED.
Immovable property, including 15 flats and 17 offices in Mumbai, Hyderabad Gems Special Economic Zone in Hyderabad, a shopping mall in Kolkata, a farmhouse in Alibaug and 231 acres of land in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, worth over Rs2,000 crores has also been attached by ED till date.
Shaswati Das contributed to the story.
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