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    ED moves special court seeking fugitive economic offender tag against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi in PNB fraud case

    ED moves special court seeking fugitive economic offender tag against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi in PNB fraud case

    ED moves special court seeking fugitive economic offender tag against Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi in PNB fraud case
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    By Uttkarsh Chaturvedi   IST (Updated)

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    The Enforcement Directorate is leaving no stone unturned to arrest diamond merchants Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. The agency taking the route under recently promulgated Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance after Modi and Choksi fled from India a month before they were named in the multi-crore fraudulent case.

    The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday moved a special court in Mumbai seeking ‘fugitive’ status for diamond merchants Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
    The agency is taking the route under recently promulgated Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance after Modi and Choksi fled from India a month before they were named in the multi-crore fraudulent case.
    Two separate applications requesting the designated court to issue notices to Modi and Choksi was filed by the ED.
    Choksi and his nephew Modi are being investigated by the ED and the CBI in an alleged fraud case relating to the Punjab National Bank after it was detected that they allegedly cheated the bank of more than Rs 13,400 crore with the purported involvement of a few of its employees.
    The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in January this year, after which PNB officials reported it to the probe agencies.
    Two criminal complaints were filed by the ED in these instances after taking cognisance of CBI FIRs.
    The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 12 and the Union cabinet on April 21 approved the ordinance. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to promulgate it a day later.
    "A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution," the government had said.
    Cases of frauds, cheque dishonour or loan default of over Rs 100 crore would come under the ambit of this ordinance.
    The government has said the ordinance offers necessary constitutional safeguards in terms of providing hearing to the person through counsel, allowing him time to file a reply, serving notice of summons to him, whether in India or abroad and appeal before the high court.
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