PNB scam: Vipul Ambani pays Rs 7.5 lakh for recording court proceedings, apologises

Court seizes 2 mobile phones, airpods

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, August 08, 2022, 06:49 PM IST
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PNB scam: Vipul Ambani pays Rs 7.5 lakh for recording court proceedings, apologises | (Photo Courtesy: Firestar Diamond Website)

An accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, involving fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, recently paid Rs 7.5 lakh cost towards the Bombay high court library after the court staff caught him recording the court’s proceedings on his mobile phone.

Justice Ajey Gadkari imposed cost on Vipul Ambani, former CFO of Nirav Modi’s Firestar International, after he was caught recording court proceedings and “indulged into light tiff” with the court staff.

Ambani paid the cost and said that “hereinafter will not indulge in any such activities in any Court proceedings in any Court of law in India”.

The incident came to light while the HC was hearing an appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging the bail granted to Ambani by the special court in August 2018. After the court dismissed the appeal, justice Gadkari was informed by his staff that one person was recording the court proceedings on his mobile phone.

When the court staff asked him to hand over his phone, he indulged into a light tiff with the staff. Subsequently, the court staff seized his mobile phone.

On inquiry, senior counsel Ashok Mundargi, on instructions from advocate Pranav Badheka, appearing for Ambani, told the court that it was Ambani who was recording the court proceedings.

Justice Gadkari opined that apart from Contempt of Courts Act proceedings, a crime/criminal case be registered against Ambani under appropriate provisions of law.

However, Mundargi submitted that “to have a serious impact upon such delinquents or litigants”, the court may “saddle exemplary cost upon the Respondent No.1 (Ambani), apart from confiscating the said electronic devices/gadgets/mobile phones”.

The court seized two mobile phones and airpods from him and the same were kept in a sealed cover in the custody of the Prothonotary and Senior Master of the HC, who has been directed not to return these “at any point of time without Orders from the Court”.

The senior counsel also said that Ambani “pleads guilty, apologizes and he will pay a cost of Rs.7,50,000 to the Kirtikar Law Library, High Court”. The counsel also said that Ambani, “hereinafter will not indulge in any such activities in any Court proceedings in any Court of law in India”.

In February 2018, Ambani was arrested in the PNB scam and was accused of concealing incriminating documents/articles relevant to the case in the office of a law firm. The documents were subsequently recovered during the searches which were conducted at the said firm.

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