New Delhi: Days after disgraced billionaire jeweller and main accused in the PNB fraud case, Nirav Modi told CBI that he cannot join the investigation, his lawyer, Vijay Aggarwal reiterated Modi's stand stating that his client will take time to come back as he has business commitments abroad.
The lawyer said that it is difficult for Nirav Modi to return to India immediately as there are security concerns. He also maintained that the case cannot be considered a scam.
Nirav Modi had refused to join the CBI investigation in the USD 2 billion fraud in Punjab National Bank citing his business engagements, prompting the agency to issue a stern letter in February asking him to appear before it in a week.
In a terse letter, the CBI “directed” him to approach the Indian mission in the country where he is residing so that immediate arrangement can be made for his travel to India, officials said.
The agency told him that it is mandatory for an accused to join the investigation whenever they are asked to, they said.
Earlier, Mehul Choksi, co-accused along with Nirav Modi in the PNB fraud case and promoter of Gitanjali Group also told the CBI that it was "impossible" for him to return to India due to his "persistent health problem".
A special PMLA court in Mumbai, earlier in March issued non-bailable warrants against diamond traders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in connection with the PNB fraud case.
Modi, Choksi and others are being investigated by multiple probe agencies after the fraud came to light recently following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank. The complaint alleged that they cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 11,400 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
Nirav along with his wife Ami, brother Neeshal and Mehul Choksi left India in the first week of January before the Punjab National Bank accused them of committing the fraud. They have not returned to India since then.
Meanwhile, the Government has revoked the passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi....