Congress trying its best to save Nirav Modi, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

Prasad said a former high court judge, who is also a Congress member, appeared as a defence witness in the proceedings against Nirav Modi

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Bollywood movies, deny, economic slowdown, three Bollywood movies, sound economy, ₹120 crore, October 2, World Economic Forum, National Sample Survey Office, International Monetary Fund
Ravi Shankar Prasad said Abhay Thipsay, a former judge of Mumbai and Allahabad high courts, deposed as a defence witness in the PNB fraud case. File photo: PTI

Senior BJP leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday (May 14) accused the Congress of trying “its best to save” fugitive businessman Nirav Modi, who is currently facing extradition proceedings in a UK court for the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.

The ruling party said a former high court judge, who is also a Congress member, appeared as a defence witness in the proceedings against the arrested diamond merchant.

Addressing the media through a video conference, Prasad said Abhay Thipsay, a former judge of Mumbai and Allahabad high courts, deposed as a defence witness in the case and claimed that the charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Modi will not stand up under Indian law.

Advertisement

Prasad noted that Thipsay had joined the Congress in 2018 and had met top party leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Ashok Gehlot, and Ashok Chavan.

“The judge sahab is not acting in his individual capacity but is working at the behest of the Congress,” he claimed, adding that Thipsay is hardly a big name otherwise in legal circles.

“There is overpowering suspicious circumstances existing from which we can infer that the Congress is trying its best to save and bail out Nirav Modi,” Prasad said, claiming that the development has “unmasked” the opposition party which has always tried to “protect” Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksy, also a fugitive.

Indian probe agencies will mount an effective reply to Thipsay’s statement, he said.

Though Modi had fled India during the BJP-led NDA government’s rule, most of his alleged crimes pertained to the period of the Congress-led UPA rule, Prasad said and asserted that the Narendra Modi government has confiscated his assets, autioned them and has been working to bring him to justice in India.

An extradition request from the Indian government was certified by the UK Home Office in February last year before his arrest by Scotland Yard on March 19, 2019. The jeweller remains behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London since then, failing to get bail despite repeated attempts.

According to the case against him, a number of PNB staff members conspired with Nirav Modi to ensure Letters of Understanding (LoUs) were issued to companies linked to him without ensuring that they were subject to the required credit checks, without recording the issuance of the LoUs and without charging the required commission upon the transactions. This resulted in a fraud amounting to nearly USD 2 billion.

Get breaking news and latest updates from India
and around the world on thefederal.com
FOLLOW US: