New York court rules PNB to have claim on the US assets of scamster Nirav Modi

As part of the United States, Bankruptcy Court’s summon order to fugitive Nirav Modi and his aides on Friday, the fraud-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) has been made a party to the sale of all of Modi’s assets in the US.

The US court recognised PNB’s claim on the sale proceeds of any of Nirav Modi’s assets sold by his US debtors, with an order including a signed stipulation recognizing PNB’s agreement with the Chapter 11 Trustee that proceeds of any asset sales by the US debtors will be subject to PNB’s claims of constructive trust regarding Nirav Modi.

Apart from Modi, the court also issued summonses to his close aides, Mihir Bhansali, Rakhi Bhansali, Ajay Gandhi and Kunal Patel in connection with the multi-billion PNB scam.

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In its first-ever intervention in any such foreign case pertaining to an Indian company the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), on 26th February, had filed a petition in the US court against the bankruptcy proceedings of Modi and sought to make PNB a party to the sale of any assets of his entities.

Speaking to ANI, a PNB official confirmed that this order was a big victory for them.

On 26th July, a Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai had issued summons against Modi and his uncle Choksi in connection with the PNB fraud case and had asked them to appear before it in September or be declared as Fugitive Economic Offenders.

Also, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in a charge sheet filed on 28th June, the details of which recently surfaced, labelled chairman of Gitanjali Group, Mehul Choksi as the “mastermind” behind the PNB fraud case, calling it a “huge economic scam brewing since 2015.”

Prior to this, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the second charge sheet filed by them in Mumbai’s special CBI court named Choksi as ‘wanted’. Earlier in April, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Nirav Modi, an accused in the PNB scam and Mehul Choksi. Before this, the Enforcement Directorate had also issued summons to them and their passports were revoked.

The Nirav Modi scam rocked the nation in February 2018. The scam that amounted to Rs. 11,000 crores worth had left the Congress red-faced when news emerged that this scam too, that they had been blaming the Modi government for, had squarely landed on their doorstep. The Modi government has since then been in relentless pursuit of Nirav Modi.

The International Criminal Police Organization more commonly known as Interpol has issued a red corner notice against the absconding Nirav Modi in connection with the Punjab National Bank Scam.

While deliberate attempts are also on by the Enforcement Directorate to seize his assets under the provisions of Fugitive Economic Offender’s Ordinance, this move comes in as a breather for the fraud-hit Punjab National Bank.

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