A special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) last week withdrew all pending warrants against fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi Modi and her husband Maiank Mehta in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.
Earlier this year, the couple had been made prosecution witnesses in the case after they offered to give evidence against Nirav Modi.
The order was upon separate pleas by the duo to recall an open-ended Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) issued against them on 27 July 2018. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its response, had said it had no objection to it, but they should continue to cooperate with it. It also informed the court that it has initiated steps for return of the duo and has communicated regarding the same with the Interpol, however, a red corner notice is still active against them.
Special judge VC Barde ordered that the open-ended warrant and any other warrants issued in pursuance of orders of the court shall be put in abeyance until further orders and all such warrants be withdrawn and returned to it.
The duo had informed the court through their counsel Amit Desai that the open-ended warrant against them is still active. The court noted that an NBW issued against them on 12 June 2018 is kept in abeyance so that they can appear before the court from abroad. That one had been issued after the court had taken cognizance of the case. After about two weeks of that warrant, the ED had approached the court with a plea to issue open-ended NBWs against them, which had resulted in the present warrants.
In their pleas in November the two had undertaken to be examined as witnesses. Purvi Modi had stated in her plea that on account of being Nirav’s sister she was in a unique position to be able to provide important evidence. She had further said that her entire personal and professional life had been brought to a standstill due to her brother’s activities and that she had distanced herself from him.
The court had made them approvers in the case on the condition that they made full disclosure of circumstances in their knowledge.