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Nirav Modi's Economic Offender case adjourned after counsel says only PMLA court can try him

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Mumbai, June 17: A Mumbai court on Monday issued a notice on the application filed by Nirav Modi's counsel who stated that the case to declare the absconding diamond trader Fugitive Economic Offender can only be heard by a PMLA designated court.

The City Civil and Sessions Court, Mumbai, has now reportedly adjourned the matter till June 25 when the reply on the application would be heard.

Nirav Modis Economic Offender case adjourned after counsel says only PMLA court can try him

In April, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had told the Bombay High Court that the principal judge of the city civil and sessions court had allotted a separate court to hear all cases against the fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi. The ED had then sought that three cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) and two cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) be clubbed together.

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill explained

The Bombay High Court then held that a single court, which is notified to hear cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC), will hear all the cases related to the Rs 11,400-crore Punjab and National Bank (PNB) scam in which Nirav Modi is the prime accused.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are being investigated by the ED and the CBI for allegedly cheating Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,400 crore. The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in January 2018, after which PNB officials reported it to the probe agencies.

Meanwhile, Modi is lodged in the Wandsworth prison in west London. On June 12, a UK court rejected his bail plea for the fourth time and said it has evidence that Nirav Modi might obstruct the probe.

Earlier this year, a special court in Mumbai declared liquor baron Vijay Mallya as fugitive economic offender. With this, he became the first businessman to be tagged so under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

How can a person declared an economic offender:

The Central government through a director appointed by it will have to file an application before a special court to declare a person as fugitive economic offender. Once the following conditions are fulfilled the director has the right to seize or attach the properties of the offender.

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