New Delhi [India], Oct 5 (ANI): The Appellate Tribunal for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has directed Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam accused, fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, his wife Ami Nirav Modi, Firestar Diamond International Pvt Ltd and its sister concerns not to dispose or create third party interest in their 21 immovable properties.Also Read - Mumbai Rains: Death Toll Rises to 31 in Landslide, House-collapse Incidents; NDRF Ends Search & Rescue Ops
The appellate tribunal also directed them to maintain the status quo in these 21 immovable assets, having fair market value of Rs 5.32 crore. Also Read - Poll Strategist Prashant Kishor Meets Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, Punjab Elections Likely on Agenda
On an appeal moved by the Punjab National Bank (PNB), the appellate tribunal said that it was Modi, his wife and other accomplices, who were liable to return the defaulted loan and that the bank was entitled to receive the amount after sale proceeds. Also Read - Mehul Choksi Gets Bail by Dominican Supreme Court, Can Travel Back to Antigua
“It has been noticed from this case as well as many other similar cases that the borrowers/NPA/big corporate-houses are not paying the huge defaulted-loan amounts to the public sector banks which are owned by the Government. Most of them are not sitting on the roadside and are still operating business in different names and different managements in order to avoid returning the defaulted loan amount,” the tribunal stated.
“Even many of them (if they return the loan amount) to the banks/financial institutions, they will remain as rich businessmen, but they are intentionally and deliberately not clearing their debts. The question is why they should not pay the defaulted amount of loan. If they pay, rather they will not only help the Government, but will also help the common citizens of this country,” it added.
The tribunal also noted that “the time has come that they should not be allowed to raise false and flimsy plea (independent legal entity), by amending law. The defaulted amount must be recovered from their personal assets and from such borrowers/NPA and big-corporate houses (who are able to pay), their companies where the loan amount has been diverted.”
“The tribunal has directed that the respondent shall maintain the status quo in relation to the said property and particularly Nirav Modi, Ami Nirav Modi and other respondents shall not dispose of or create third party interest in respect of 21 immovable properties following 21 immovable properties of Defendants having purchase cost of Rs 285,71,07,600 and fair market value of Rs 523,72,37,000 were personally attached of the said respondent here as the prima facie. The tribunal is of the view that the bank is entitled to receive the amount after sale proceeds,” it said.
The tribunal listed the matter for final disposal on December 10.
Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi have been accused of allegedly defrauding Punjab National Bank of USD 2 billion. Modi is in the UK and needs to be extradited as non-bailable warrants have been issued by different courts against him. (ANI)
This is published unedited from the ANI feed.