New Delhi: Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi on Saturday denied any links of his family with jewellery designer Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Group promoter Mehul Choksi, accused in the Rs11,400-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case, and charged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with playing “cheap politics".
“BJP/NDA’s cheap sense of politics has reached ludicrous and ridiculous proportions. Neither my wife, sons nor me have anything whatsoever to do with Gitanjali or Nirav Modi companies," he said in a statement. Singhvi said Nirav Modi’s company was a tenant of a Kamla Mills property owned by Adwait Holdings in which his wife and sons are directors.
BJP leader and Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman alleged that Nirav Modi-run Firestar Diamond International had taken on lease a property of Adwait Holdings, a company in which Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi’s wife is a director. “What is important that the premises has been used by Firestar Diamond International," she alleged.
Singhvi said Adwait Holdings owns a commercial property at Parel, which was rented by Nirav Modi’s company many years ago. “Neither Adwait nor my family has any interest with Modi or the company. Last August, the company gave notice to quit tenancy and vacated Parel Kamla Mills premises in December 2017," he said.
“Neither I nor any member of my family has any interest in or relation to Nirav Modi or his companies. His company was a tenant in some commercial property owned by our family company. This tenancy ended in December 2017.
“None of us have anything to do even remotely with Gitanjali company, Firestar or any other business of Nirav Modi. Sensationalism, ignorance and falsehood has exceeded all limits in this irresponsible charge," he said, threatening Sitharaman and her colleagues of civil and criminal defamation for making “ill-considered, ignorant and patently false allegations".
“I reserve my rights to take all such appropriate legal action against the latter and all parts of the media which carry such false and maliciously defamatory allegations," Singhvi said in a statement.
Nirav Modi, 46, a regular feature on the lists of rich and famous Indians since 2013, was booked by the Central Bureau of India (CBI), along with wife, brother and Gitanjali Group promoter Mehul Choksi on 31 January, for allegedly cheating the state-run PNB to the tune of Rs280 crore.
The bank subsequently sent two more complaints to the CBI on Tuesday, saying the scam was worth more than Rs11,400 crore. The jewellery designer is understood to be a citizen of the country but his brother Nishal and wife Ami are not Indian nationals. They all left India between 1 and 6 January, the CBI had said.