Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government on Wednesday opposed a petition seeking probe into the Rs. 11,400 crore scam involving diamond merchant Nirav Modi as the main accused.
The petition was filed by advocate Vineet Dhanda seeking, inter alia, deportation of Modi.
Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal, while addressing the Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said, “I appear for the government. We are opposing the petition. This is a case in which the FIRs have been registered and investigation has started.”
He raised objection stating than an investigation was already in progress in the case.
The SC benched seemed satisfied with the A-G’s contention and observed that it cannot interfere when the government is already investigating the matter.
However, an unsatisfied advocate Dhanda put forth his defence and said that while a person who takes a minimal loan amount is hounded, people of big stature easily run away with thousands of crores of rupees.
He further said that the recurrence of such scams proved that the investigating agencies were ineffective.
In reply, the apex court bench reacted sharply and stated that the manner in which the petitioner (Dhanda) was putting forth his submissions proved that the matter was filed only for gaining publicity.
Dhanda retorted to the statement saying he had been practising there for 16 years and did not need publicity.
The bench adjourned the petition for March 16.
Nirav Modi has been accused of defrauding India’s second largest public sector bank Punjab National Bank (PNB) and swindling money to the tune of Rs. 11,400 crore.