PNB fraud: Centre opposes plea for SIT inquiry, says probe on
New Delhi:The Centre opposed in the Supreme Court a PIL seeking an independent probe and deportation of jeweller Nirav Modi in the over Rs 11,000 crore PNB fraud case, saying an FIR had already been lodged and a probe was on. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it was at present not “saying anything on the matter” and listed the PIL filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda for further hearing on March 16. Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said he was opposing the PIL on various grounds, including that an inquiry had started after the FIR was registered. The PIL has made Punjab National Bank, Reserve Bank of India and the ministries of finance and law and justice parties. It has sought a direction for initiation of deportation proceedings of Nirav Modi and others allegedly involved in the banking fraud, preferably within two months. The plea has asked for a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the banking fraud, allegedly involving billionaire jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. It has also asked for a probe into the role of the top management of the Punjab National Bank (PNB). The CBI has already registered two FIRs–one on January 31 and another a few days ago–against billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his relative Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems and others for allegedly defrauding the PNB of about Rs 11,400 crore.