Nirav Modi’s illegal Alibaug bungalow razed, Maharashtra government informs HC

ED and the CBI has been in relentless pursuit of Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi after the 13,000 crore PNB scam was unearthed.

Fugitive Nirav Modi’s bungalow at Alibaug beach has been razed by the state authorities. According to reports, the Raigad collector had issued an order to demolish illegal sea-facing bungalow of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi, the state government told the Bombay High court on Thursday.

The state government has yesterday filed an affidavit in the HC claiming that the illegal bungalow belonging to Modi on Alibaug has been razed on December 5 and demolition notices have been served to another 58 illegal properties in the area.

Though this action is not related to the Punjab National Bank fraud, in which Modi is the accused, it dates back to 2010, when he received the demolition notice. Modi was permitted 376 sq meters in Kihim, but he constructed on 1,071 sq meters instead, which was 674 sq meters more than the permitted area.

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Earlier the government had written to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has attached Nirav Modi’s bungalow as part of its probe into the PNB fraud, seeking permission for the demolition.

Government counsel advocate PB Kakade also told a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice MS Karnik that it had served demolition notices to another 58 private properties in the area on December 4, as they were all constructed in violation of the state’s rules and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms. The owners have been given a week’s time to raze all structures constructed illegally.

In an affidavit, the state submitted that the owners of around 61 such illegal private structures had managed to get stay orders on demolition from local civil courts.

However, it was planning to initiate legal action to get the stay orders lifted, the government submitted.

The bench took note of the state’s submissions and scheduled the matter for further hearing on December 20.

The High court was hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) filed in 2009, by Sambhuraje Yuvakranti of Akhil Bhartiya Maratha Seva Sangh.

As per the plea, there are around 175 such private residences in CRZ areas in villages such as Varsoli, Sasvane, Kolgaon and Dokvade, among others, belonging to several “wealthy persons, including Modi, and several businessmen and film actors”.

The petition pointed out the failure of the State government and the Centre in taking action against illegal bungalows built in the coastal regulation zone.

The absconding diamond tycoon has been facing troubles as the ED and the CBI has been in relentless pursuit of Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi after the 13,000 crore PNB scam was unearthed. Interpol has issued red corner notices for Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Purvi Modi and Nishal Modi, Nirav’s sister and brother respectively.

In India too, the ED had in May moved the special court in Mumbai requesting permission for ‘immediate confiscation’ of about 7000 crores worth assets of designer diamond jeweller Nirav Modi under the recently annunciated ‘Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance’.

The department has since then attached several of Nirav Modi’s properties and bank accounts worth thousands of crores.

Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others are being probed under various criminal laws after the fraudulence surfaced, in the beginning, of this year following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) that they allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.

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