The Bombay High Court on Monday questioned the Enforcement Directorate’s request to stay an order to demolish fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi’s unauthorised bungalow in Alibaug in Raigad district, PTI reported. The court said that structures built by Modi should be demolished if they are illegal, reported The Indian Express.
Modi and his uncle, businessman Mehul Choksi, are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate in the Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud.
A division bench of Chief Justice NH Patil and Justice NM Jamdar was hearing a petition filed in 2009 by Shambhuraje Yuvakranti of the Akhil Bhartiya Maratha Seva Sangha, seeking to demolish unauthorised construction.
In December, the Raigad district collector had ordered demolition of 58 unauthorised structures, including one belonging to Modi, built along the beach at Alibaug. The district collector had ordered the demolition of illegal structures after the High Court had rebuked it for failing to take action against such buildings. The Enforcement Directorate last week sought a stay on the demolition order and requested the High Court to give the agency a hearing.
The division bench, however, sought to know why the Enforcement Directorate was seeking a stay on the demolition order. “What is illegal needs to go,” Chief Justice NH Patil said. “What is your problem with those structures that are illegal?”
According to an affidavit filed by the Raigad district collector on Monday, a day after the demolition order was passed, the sub-divisional officer of Alibaug wrote a letter to the Enforcement Directorate seeking permission to de-seal Modi’s property and demolish it. The affidavit said the Enforcement Directorate sent a mail to the Central Bureau of Investigation on January 2, requesting it to depute an officer to de-seal the property or provide a No Objection Certificate to the ED.
The matter has been posted for further hearing after four weeks.