Indian jeweller, the main accused in the multi billion worth Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, Nirav Modi on Monday (29) registered a petition before a special court opposing India’s Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea to have him declared as a ‘fugitive economic offender’ under country’s Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA).
Modi filed 10 petitions before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court. However, his major argument was that ED’s complaint shouldn’t be filed in accordance with the law and, must not be considered valid by the court.
Modi in his arguments said that as per the country’s FEOA, a complaint under the said act can be registered by the director or any other official not below the rank of deputy director authorised by the director.
In the current case, Modi’s petition has opposed the ED’s petition was undersigned by one C Mahesh Chandra Reddy, claiming to be deputy director, but the latter hasn’t submitted any authorisation files according to the act.
The petition has further added that the complaint was registered when the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance was in force, which was afterwards repealed as the FEOA was passed by the Indian Parliament July, last year.
Thus, the legal proceedings in the current case were also under the new act, the applicant noted. He further added that actions intended to commence on the basis of the ordinance cannot continue after it has ceased to operate. Hence, the complaint registered was not maintainable in its current form and was eligible to be dismissed, the applicant said.
Nirav Modi and his close relative Mehul Choski being investigated by the ED and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly cheating PNB of over Rs 134 billion which came into light earlier this year.