Special court cancels all non-bailable warrants against Nirav Modi’s brother-in-law

A special PMLA court Tuesday cancelled all outstanding non-bailable warrants against Maiank Mehta, the brother-in-law of fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi, in connection with a money laundering case. The court directed him to furnish cash bond as security.

This is Mehta’s first appearance before the court and comes months after he turned a prosecution witness in the case. The British national had arrived from Hong Kong to appear before the court.

Along with his wife Purvi, who is Modi’s sister, Mehta had in January sought to become an approver in the case filed by the Enforcement Directorate against Modi and others.

The court had allowed their pleas after they submitted that they wanted to make disclosures which would prove critical in establishing the facts against Modi and the other accused.

Seeking cancellation of the non-bailable warrants against him, Mehta had stated that he would appear before the court once the Covid-induced restrictions on international travel are relaxed. The court had kept the decision in abeyance till he appeared before it.

Last week, Mehta submitted that he would appear before the court on Tuesday and sought that directions be issued to the investigating agencies not to detain him upon arrival in view of the pending warrants against him. The court then allowed the plea stating that no action shall be taken against him after he arrives in India until he appears before it.

Purvi, a Belgian national, too, had sought cancellation of the warrants. The court has kept the plea in abeyance until she appears before it.

In their applications to turn prosecution witnesses, the two had said that their personal and professional lives had come to a standstill because of Modi’s alleged criminal activities. They also said that they wanted to distance themselves from him and provide “substantial and important evidence” relevant to him and his dealings.

The ED and the CBI had named Modi and others as accused on a complaint filed by the Punjab National Bank claiming that fraudulent Letters of Undertaking were issued in his favour causing losses to the bank. While the CBI had not named Maiank and Purvi as accused, they were named in the ED complaint. The Enforcement Directorate later allowed them to turn approvers stating that the pardon should only be in their individual capacities.