PNB scam: Choksi moves court seeking cancellation of NBW

Mumbai: Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi, a key accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case, today moved a special court here seeking cancellation of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him.

Choksi’s lawyer Sanjay Abbot moved the application before special CBI court judge J C Jagdale.

In the application, he claimed that he cannot travel because of his medical condition.

The diamond merchant also claimed he was unable to disclose his current location as he was facing a threat to his life from various persons.

Choksi said that he never sought to avoid the investigation or the probe agencies and had duly responded to all the communication that he received from the investigating agencies.

He also contended that his case was completely different from that of his relative and billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi.

Choksi said the Enforcement Directorate attached his assets after registering a case based the first Central Bureau of Investigation FIR pertaining Nirav Modi even though he (Choksi) had got nothing to do with it.

After the hearing, the judge directed the CBI to file a reply and posted the matter for hearing on July 11.

The special CBI court, after taking cognisance of the second charge sheet filed in the PNB fraud case, had last month ordered the issuance of the NBW against Choksi.

The issuance of the alleged fraudulent letters of understanding (LoUs) is said to be the crux of the mega financial fraud.

An LoU is a guarantee which is given by an issuing bank to Indian banks having branches abroad to grant a short-term credit to the applicant.

In case of default, the bank issuing the LoU has to pay the liability to the credit-giving bank along with accruing interest.

Modi and his uncle Choksi are among the main accused in the fraud case pegged at over Rs 13,400 crore. They have been booked in nearly half-a-dozen cases related to the bank fraud.

Choksi and Modi are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them in February.

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