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Centre had evidence 8 months before Nirav, Choksi fled: Rahul

New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses the crowd during a protest over SC/ST atrocities bill, at Jantar-Mantar in New Delhi on Thursday, Aug 9, 2018. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary) (PTI8_9_2018_000100B)

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the government had evidence to arrest diamond trader Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi months before they fled the country but did not do so as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s daughter was hired as Choksi’s lawyer.

He also demanded Jaitley’s resignation.

“8 months before they were allowed to flee, the IT department wrote a 10,000 page report on Chota Modi & Choksi’s massive fraud,” Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.

“Govt had evidence to arrest them. But didn’t because FM Jaitlie’s (sic) daughter was hired as Choksi’s lawyer,” he said, adding that the finance minister must resign.

Rahul Gandhi tagged a media report which claimed that IT report waved red flags eight months before the PNB scam broke, but was not shared with other agencies.

No immediate reaction from the government was available, but both the government and Jaitley have rejected all such allegations in the past.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Jaitley allowed the jewellers to flee the country.

Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are being pursued by central investigation agencies in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. The accused left India this January, a few weeks before the scam came to light.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were aware about dirty dealings amounting to Rs 26,306 crore of fraudsters Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi eight months prior to their flying abroad, but it (the government) did not act,” Surjewala said at a press conference in Jaipur on Monday.