Mumbai Court Orders Proceeds from Nirav Modi’s London Property Sale to Go to Indian Government

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In a significant development, a Mumbai court has directed that the funds generated from the auction of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi’s property in London must be handed over to the Government of India. The order came in response to an application filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing a money laundering case against Modi and his companies for allegedly diverting funds from multiple public banks.

The ED highlighted that Nirav Modi was declared a fugitive economic offender in June 2020, prompting the agency to seek attachment of 68 properties associated with him, valued at ₹329 crores, including a house in London.

The agency revealed that the London property was held by a ‘Deposit Trust,’ which had applied for winding up in the UK. A UK court allowed the trust to liquidate its assets, including Modi’s house. However, without a specific order permitting the transfer of proceeds to India, the ED faced challenges in repatriating the sale proceeds.

While the Mumbai court had previously approved the confiscation of the property, it did not address the receipt of sale proceeds, hindering the process of bringing the funds back to India.

In response, the ED sought a modification of the court’s order to facilitate the transfer of proceeds, a request granted by Special FEO Judge SM Menjoge on March 30.

The judge’s directive ensures that the funds obtained from the sale, auction, or any other form of disposal of the London property are credited to the Central Government of India, allowing the government to receive the proceeds.

This decision marks a significant step in the ongoing efforts to recover assets linked to Nirav Modi’s alleged financial misconduct.

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