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Congress trying to save Nirav Modi: BJP

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The BJP on Thursday accused the Congress of “trying its best to save” businessman Nirav Modi, currently facing extradition proceedings at a court in the United Kingdom (UK) after Congress member and retired judge Abhay Thipsay deposed (by video link) as a defence witness.

Addressing the media through a video conference, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said (retired) Justice 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 Mr. Nirav Modi will not stand up under Indian law.

Also read: “Case against Nirav Modi very short on proof”

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

At party’s behest

“The ‘judge sahab’ is not acting in his individual capacity but is working at the behest of the Congress,” said Mr. Prasad, adding that Justice Thipsay was 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,” Mr. Prasad said, claiming that the development has “unmasked” the Congress which, he added, had always tried to “protect” Mr Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksy, also a fugitive.

Indian probe agencies will mount an effective reply soon, Mr. Prasad said.

Also read: Nirav Modi told me he would get me killed, UK court hears from ‘dummy director’

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. Mr. Modi 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 Punjab National Bank (PNB) staff conspired with Mr. 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 $2 billion.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 10:42:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-trying-to-save-nirav-modi-bjp/article31582758.ece

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