Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the Punjab National Bank fraud case, has approached the special court to begin the trial against 20 accused booked by the agency so far as, as the process to bring Nirav Modi to India is delayed.
Since there is a delay in procuring the presence of Nirav Modi and his younger brother Nishal Modi, the case against them may be seperated, CBI prayed in its application seeking to begin trial against the rest of the accused. The court now has asked all the accused to respond to CBI's application.
The agency has prayed that the trial in the case against the rest of the accused shall begin as few of the accused including former manager of the bank Gokulnath Shetty and Hemant Bhatt, allegedly a close aide of Modi, are in prison since their arrest in 2018.
'No immediate prospect of bringing Nirav Modi to India'
The agency said Nirav Modi has been apprehended in UK and process for his extradition is in progress. However, it admitted that Nirav Modi's younger brother Nishal Modi is a citizen of Belgium. "There is no immediate prospect for bringing him to India in order to face the trial," CBI claimed in their plea.
According to the CBI, Nirav, along with other accused, had siphoned of another Rs 6,498.20 crore from the PNB through 150 fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) issued between February and May 2017, taking the total fraud amount to ₹23,780 crore.
Bank officials issued 1,214 LoUs, CBI chargesheet reveals
In its chargesheet the CBI claimed, “Investigation revealed that between 2011 and 2017, 1,214 LoUs amounting to ₹23,780 crore were fraudulently issued by accused bank officials, on behalf of M/s Diamonds R US, M/s Stellar Diamond and M/s Solar Export, of which 150 LoUs remained outstanding."
Nirav Modi had fled from the country on January 1, 2018. He was was arrested by the UK police on March 19, 2019. Later, the special court had declared Nirav Modi a Fugitive Economic Offender under the new law on December 5, 2019. This paved a way for the court to began the process towards confiscation of his properties which were located out of the country as well.