Ravi Shankar Prasad said Congress via a retired judge-turned-politician has informed a London court that the CBI's charges against Nirav Modi will not stand scrutiny under Indian law.
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday launched a scathing attack against the Congress party, accusing it of making efforts to save Nirav Modi after a retired High Court judge who joined Congress in June last year stood as a defence witness for the fugitive diamantaire at a hearing in a UK court. Addressing the media, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Congress via a retired judge-turned-politician has informed a London court that the CBI’s charges against Nirav Modi will not stand scrutiny under Indian law.
Prasad said Abhay Thipsay, a former judge of Mumbai and Allahabad high courts, deposed as a defence witness in the case, adding that Thipsay had joined the Congress in 2018 and had met top party leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Ashok Gehlot and Ashok Chavan, a PTI report said.
Prasad alleged that the former justice was working at the Congress’ behest to influence the judicial process in the United Kingdom. He said that Indian probe agency will counter it effectively.
“The Congress party in every way tried to save Nirav Modi and Mehul Chowki. Now that he has been arrested, a retired judge associated with Congress is trying to save him (Nirav),” he said, adding that the ex-High Court judge, now a Congress member, appeared as defence witness in extradition proceedings against Nirav Modi.
It exposes the opposition party, he said. “Overpowering suspicious circumstances’ exist to suggest that Congress is trying its best to save Nirav Modi,” Prasad added.
He further claimed that the ex-judge is a close confidant of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi. “Congress continues to support Nirav Modi, which becomes more evident with the party fielding irs leader defend the fugitive,” the Union minister said,
He said that the Modi government has been making efforts to extradite Nirav Modi who is a prime accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud. “We assure you that we will leave no stone unturned to extradite and bring Nirav Modi to India. We condemn the actions of the Congress party in this regard,” he said.
Notably, the PNB fraud involving Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi has been a major plank for the Congress party’s campaign against the Narendra Modi government, whom Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly accused of facilitating the safe exit of these wanted men out of India. The former Congress president has also made personal allegations against the Prime Minister over his proximity to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and alleged his role in allowing them to flee India.
Turning the tables against Rahul, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra questioned the “double standards” of Rahul Gandhi after the Congress member’s role came to light in Nirav Modi’s hearing. “Here in India, Rahul Gandhi asks questions of the government over Nirav Modi. On the other hand, Rahul’s confidante and Congress’s Abhay Thipsay (former judge) appears as a witness in favour of Nirav Modi. After all, why is it that Rahul does not want Nirav to come to India? What was the deal between Rahul and Nirav at the party that night?” Patra tweeted in an apparent reference to a party attended by Nirav Modi and Rahul in Delhi in 2013.