Mumbai: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s brother-in-law Maiank Mehta was unable to leave for his home in Hong Kong despite a favourable court order due to a Look Out Circular (LOC) that is still active against him. The court had directed on June 16 that the LOC be suspended temporarily.
On Monday, the court was informed by Maiank’s advocates that he was unable to travel due to the LOC still being active. An officer from Immigration was present before the court and informed it that his office at Mumbai had received the order directing suspension of the LOC and has made necessary communication with the Delhi office, but not received any information from Delhi about doing the needful. Later, an advocate representing the Bureau of Immigration filed a response to Mehta’s plea. The court is expected to pass an order today.
Mehta and his wife Purvi Modi, who is diamantaire Nirav’s Modi sister, were accused of helping the businessman launder tainted money obtained from defrauding Punjab National Bank (PNB). They had been absconding and had LOCs against them. The couple had turned approvers in the case, offering to testify against Nirav Modi, after which Maiank had come to India in September last year to assist the prosecution. Recently, he had made a plea to be permitted to go to his home in Hong Kong. The court had permitted the plea and directed that the LOC’s against him be suspended for the time being.
Passing an order permitting Mehta to travel to Hong Kong on June 16, the court had said that he has joined the investigation for past nine months and there can be no doubt that he wants to cooperate with the CBI but it cannot be said that the agency is entitled to impose travel restrictions on him, particularly to travel to his residence. It had said that considering the facts and circumstances, he deserves to be allowed to travel.