The special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Tuesday cancelled all warrants issued for arrest of Maianak Mehta, brother-in-law of fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi, after he appeared before the court.
The court has now asked Maianak Mehta to co-operate with the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is investigating money laundering aspects of the massive fraud allegedly perpetuated by Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi, and to intimate the agency before leaving the country.
Maianak Mehta, husband of Modi’s sister Purvi Mehta and Purvi Mehta herself have agreed to become approvers in the case. Sources said Mehta travelled from Hong Kong to Mumbai and appeared before the special court, presided over by additional sessions judge VC Barde.
ED had already recorded Maianak Mehta’s statement on video conference, which it needed to confirm.
The couple had moved separate pleas urging the special court to cancel warrants issued against them on the ground that they had turned approvers and would be deposing as prosecution witnesses.
Maianak Mehta had told the court that he wanted to come to India, but apprehended arrest in view of the warrants issued against him. Thereafter, the court had kept all warrants against him in abeyance and instructed the authorities to not take any action against him till he appears before the court.
The court had issued several warrants for arrest of the couple; the Interpol had also issued a red notice against Purvi Mehta on the basis of the warrants.
Nirav Modi is a prime accused in the ₹13,500 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank. Purvi Mehta had also been accused by ED in the money laundering case.
The agency claimed that several of the properties owned by Purvi Mehta were acquired using the proceeds of crime by Nirav Modi in the name of his sister and several companies showed her as the owner.
Purvi Mehta had even transferred ₹ 17.25 crore into government bank account as she was granted pardon by the court on the condition of making full and correct disclosure of facts.
Senior counsel Amit Desai who appeared for Maianak Mehta told the court that he was ready to co-operate and had travelled to India just to co-operate with the agency, after which special judge Barde cancelled all the warrants against him.