PNB fraud: Nirav Modi came to Davos on his own, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

Updated - February 17, 2018 03:53 pm IST

Published - February 15, 2018 09:09 pm IST - NEW DELHI

 Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addresses a press conference over Nirav Modi's case, at BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addresses a press conference over Nirav Modi's case, at BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday.

The BJP on Thursday fielded Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad after the government came under fire for the ₹11,400-crore fraud case involving industrialist Nirav Modi and the Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Mr. Prasad said the government had taken speedy action after receiving the complaint by the PNB against Mr. Modi and gave details of the same. He also hit back at the Congress party, which used strong language in attacking Prime Minister Modi in the wake of the scam.

Mr. Prasad termed the fraud case as a “UPA era scam” and dubbed the Congress’s reference of “Chhota Modi” for the scam’s main accused, Nirav Modi, as “derogatory, demeaning, shameful, utterly irresponsible and scandalous”.

When asked about the action taken by the Prime Minister’s Office after a Bengaluru resident Hari Prasad warned it in a July 2016 letter against Nirav Modi and other accused, Mr. Prasad said it was acknowledged and what action different departments took would be conveyed later.

Mr. Prasad pointed out that the alleged fraud had started in 2011 when the Congress was in power and questioned whose “blessings” were with Nirav’s business partner Mehul Choksi, whose firm Gitanjali Gems’ income doubled between 2011-13.

“The fraud has been unearthed under our government and action is being taken,” he said.

Mr. Prasad also said that Nirav Modi was not part of the Prime Minister’s delegation to Davos and had come to the Swiss town on his own. He joined a CII delegation for a group photograph with him, the minister said. “I wish to deny this with full authority. No personal meeting (of Nirav Modi) with the Prime Minister took place,” he said.

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