The law is aimed at deterring economic offenders from evading the process of law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
Mumbai: A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Wednesday gave absconding diamond jeweller and key accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, Mehul Choksi, time till October 30 to file his reply to an Enforcement Directorate (ED) plea, seeking to declare him a “fugitive” under a new law.
Earlier, the PMLA court had summoned Choksi on September 26 in connection with the ED’s plea to declare him a “fugitive” under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act. Appearing before the court presided over by Judge M.S. Azmi, Choksi’s lawyer Sanjay Abbot Wednesday said that they had been provided a copy of the ED’s complaint in the USD 2 billion fraud case and needed some time to file a reply. Following this, the judge adjourned the matter to October 30 for filing the reply.
The ED had moved the court, seeking to declare Choksi and his nephew and absconding diamond trader Nirav Modi as “fugitive economic offenders” to confiscate their assets worth Rs 3,500 crore. The court Tuesday asked Nirav Modi to file his reply on October 29 in the matter. The financial crime probing agency - empowered to enforce the new law enacted by the NDA government to curb big economic crimes and check the escape of perpetrators from India - filed two separate applications against Modi and Choksi.
The law is aimed at deterring economic offenders from evading the process of law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. It seeks to expedite the recovery of losses incurred by banks and other entities.