Nirav Modi says he can't return to India, cites security reasons

File photo of Nirav Modi

Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, a prime accused in the PNB fraud case, told a court in Mumbai on Saturday that he cannot return to India due to safety concerns and also because his case has been politicised.

Modi's lawyer filed his reply to the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) plea seeking to declare the diamond merchant a fugitive under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA) before the special court for cases filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Modi feared for his safety given the violent threats made against him "as illustrated by the burning of his effigies", the reply said.

Statements made by politicians from all parties showed that they had "prejudged the issue of his guilt" and his case was being used for political purposes, it added.

While he left the country long before a case was registered against him, the ED tried to "falsely implicate" him for offences "backed by shallow claims", Modi's reply said.

The fugitive diamond merchant also claimed to have duly replied to the ED's summons.

According to the ED, Modi failed to respond to its summons thrice, after which it filed the plea under the FEOA.

The ED did not mention that he had stated in his reply that he could not travel as his passport had been revoked, Modi said.

According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi cheated the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs 14,000 crore by fraudulently securing Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) to obtain credit overseas.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel