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Nirav Modi: Has Nirav Modi got Mallya-like stay permit, India asks UK | India News

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NEW DELHI: India has asked the UK to clarify whether fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi has permission to stay indefinitely in that country even as the Enforcement Directorate plans to file extradition requests with multiple countries as Modi has changed his location frequently in the past few months.

Sources said India has asked the UK home office if Modi has been granted an ‘ILR’ (indefinite leave to remain). That would be a critical piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

An ILR is like a long-term visa that grants a person legal protection against deportation. In simpler terms, Modi’s status in the UK would, with an ILR, be similar to that of Vijay Mallya, and would require India to file for extradition under the bilateral treaty.

If, however, Modi has not been granted such a privilege, India would be on much stronger ground to seek his deportation. The UK has not yet responded to the query.

The government had revoked Modi’s passport in February. However, he had more than one passport and is believed to have travelled to the UK and Belgium on a different Indian passport. His second passport has also been revoked.

Modi does not qualify for asylum, sources said, because India doesn’t feature in the list of countries which persecute their citizens enabling them to seek asylum in other countries. In addition, it has been established that Modi did indeed commit large-scale fraud, which would also rule out any grant of asylum.

Meanwhile, the ED is ready with legal paperwork for its extradition requests, having filed a chargesheet against Modi and obtaining a non-bailable warrant from a special Mumbai court two days ago. The agency has received information about Modi’s presence in Belgium after his recent trip to London.

However, a source said it was contemplating filing extradition requests with multiple countries since the diamantaire was constantly switching locations.

Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of Geetanjali Gems are accused in the Rs 13,000 crore PNB swindle. Both fled the country with their family members just before PNB filed a case against them with the CBI. Immediately after, the ED registered a money laundering case against them under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED has received information that Modi travelled to the UK multiple times using his revoked Indian passport in March. The ED had given details of Modi’s six passports to the foreign ministry. However, it could not be ascertained how he travelled on a revoked passport.

The ED has also approached Interpol through the CBI for a red corner notice against Modi. The agency has seized assets worth over Rs 3,000 crore belonging to Modi and his associates. A source said Mehul Choksi is currently in the US and a similar extradition request against him will be filed after the ED files a chargesheet against him.

Updated: June 15, 2018 — 1:50 am

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