The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said that India is still awaiting a response from Hong Kong over any action, if initiated, against fugitive Nirav Modi, who is wanted in India in connection with a Rs 12,700-crore loan default case. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said there is an agreement between India and Hong Kong about the surrender of fugitive offenders.
Nirav Modi, wanted in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case, is reportedly in Hong Kong which is a Special Administrative Region of China.
"So far we have not received any information about Nirav Modi or about his arrest from the Hong Kong authorities," Raveesh Kumar said.
"We are aware of the written reply submitted to Parliament which shared that Nirav Modi is in Hong Kong. We have requested the Hong Kong authorities to surrender Nirav Modi. There is an agreement between India and Hong Kong about the surrender of fugitive offenders. We are still awaiting a response," he added.
China has left it to Hong Kong to take a final call on the arrest of Nirav Modi. China had said the special administrative region which functioned under its effective control can take a decision over the issue based on its laws and judicial assistance agreements. India has reportedly sought Nirav's arrest under the "Surrender of Fugitive Offenders Agreement" with Hong Kong.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told Parliament last week that his Ministry had sought the provisional arrest of Nirav by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court earlier this week directed diamantaire Nirav Modi's company, Firestar Diamond, to ask him to return to the country, dubbing him a "fugitive".
While Hong Kong could act on India's request, it is not yet clear whether Nirav stayed put in the former British colony where he has a diamond store besides the one in Beijing.
Hong Kong was formerly a colony of the British Empire after the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from Qing China in 1842. China resumed sovereignty over the former British colony in 1997. As a Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system apart from mainland China.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs