Vipul Ambani, a top official of Nirav Modi’s Firestar International, moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday to challenge his arrest in connection with the alleged fraud at Punjab National Bank, PTI reported. He also appealed for bail. The court will hear his plea on March 27.
Ambani is president of finance at Firestar International. He claimed that the Central Bureau of Investigation did not follow due procedure while arresting him. He said he was produced before a magistrate more than 24 hours after his arrest, which his plea said was illegal.
Ambani was arrested on February 20. A CBI court had sent him to custody till March 19.
In February, the Central Bureau of Investigation had claimed that Ambani was aware of the fraudulent Letters of Undertaking that were allegedly handed out by Punjab National Bank officials on behalf of companies associated with jewellery designer Nirav Modi.
Firestar International is part of the jewellery empire of Modi, who is also accused in the scam, which is now worth Rs 13,645 crore. The jeweller has been booked for fraud and accused of cheating Punjab National Bank.
The investigating agency said that the applications for the Letters of Undertaking were made from Ambani’s Mumbai office, hinting that he was “directly involved” in the scam. The CBI added that “there was deliberate act of omission on his part by not protesting the issuance of fraudulent LoUs”.
On March 14, the Reserve Bank of India discontinued Letters of Undertaking or LoUs and Letters of Comfort with regard to trade credits for imports with immediate effect.