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Banks recover Rs 18,000 cr from Mallya, Nirav and Choksi: Centre tells SC

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

NEW DELHI: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Wednesday, February 23, informed the Supreme Court that Rs 18,000 crore have been returned to the banks in the case of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi.

Also Read :- Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya sentenced to 4 months imprisonment by SC for contempt, fined Rs 2000

Mehta told the top court bench, led by Justice AM Khanwilkar, that the value of cases registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Mallya, Modi, and Choksi is now ₹67,000 crore.

“The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the cases of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi has managed to confiscate assets worth over ₹18,000 crore due to orders passed by the courts under (the) PMLA,” Mehta said.

In December Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that as of July banks had recovered ₹13,109 crore after sale of assets belonging to the three.

At the time the latest tranche of recoveries was valued at ₹792 crore.

Also Read :- On Vijay Mallya sentencing, SC to go ahead regardless of his absence

Mehta’s statement today was made as the top court hears a batch of petitions challenging the central agency’s powers of search, seizure, investigation, and attachment of proceeds of crime.

Over the past two weeks, arguments have been made by a number of senior lawyers, including Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mukul Rohatgi, Sidharth Luthra, and Amit Desai, on the potential misuse of provisions introduced by way of various amendments, most recently in 2019.

The law has been criticised on a number of points, including stringent bail conditions, arrests without an ECIR (akin to a FIR), non-communication of grounds of arrest. Concerns have also been raised over statements made by the accused during investigation being used as evidence in a trial.

Mehta today said there is a system of checks and balances to ensure the law could not be misused.

Mallya (represented by his lawyers) is due in the Supreme Court on Thursday for one last chance to defend himself in a contempt of court case. The case will be heard by a bench led by Justice UU Lalit.

Also Read :- US court dismisses PIL filed by fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, associates

He is accused in a bank loan default case involving defunct Kingfisher Airlines that is worth more than ₹9,000 crore. He is presently in the United Kingdom.

Choksi is wanted over a ₹13,500 crore fraud case involving the Punjab National Bank. He is currently in the Caribbean island of Antigua, after having secured bail from Dominica, where he was caught while trying to flee to avoid extradition to India. Nirav Modi, Choksi’s nephew, is also wanted in a fraud case involving PNB. He is also in London, pending extradition to India.

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