Mumbai: Special CBI Court Separates Trial Of Two Accused In PNB Scam Case, Says ‘Nobody Knows How Much Time Nirav Modi's Extradition Would Take’

Mumbai: Special CBI Court Separates Trial Of Two Accused In PNB Scam Case, Says ‘Nobody Knows How Much Time Nirav Modi's Extradition Would Take’

The special court said, "Accused Gokulnath Shetty and Hemant Bhatt are in jail since 2018. Their bail applications were rejected by the court. Speedy trial is the right of the accused. They cannot keep languishing in jail without trial

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Thursday, November 09, 2023, 10:02 PM IST
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Mumbai: Paving a way for trial in Punjab National Bank fraud case, the special CBI court on Thursday ordered to separate the trial of all 20 accused booked by the agency so far, as India waits for extradition of Nirav Modi from UK.

The special court said, "Accused Gokulnath Shetty and Hemant Bhatt are in jail since 2018. Their bail applications were rejected by the court. Speedy trial is the right of the accused. They cannot keep languishing in jail without trial."

Besides, the court also said, though extradition proceedings against Nirav Modi are going on in the UK, nobody knows how much time it will take and its result. 

With this, the court has now seperated the case of wanted accused Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal and Nehal from the others, followed by which the prosecution would now open the case against the rest of the accused for trial.

The court also ruled out the objection taken by the other accused saying that they all are out on bail. "Other accused who are objecting to these applications are in bail and hence they are not bothered about the pendency of these cases," the court said adding that in the interest of justice the plea of prosecution is allowed.

PNB scam

According to the CBI, Nirav, along with other accused, had siphoned off another ₹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.

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 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 begin the process towards confiscation of his properties which were located out of the country as well.

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