New Delhi: Markets regulator Sebi on Friday ordered attachment of bank and demat accounts of fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi as well as Gitanjali Gems and its executive director Dhanesh Sheth to recover dues worthover Rs 5 crore. Choksi, the uncle of diamantaire Nirav Modi, is the promoter and managing director of Gitanjali Gems.
Nirav Modi, who has allegedly defrauded state-owned Punjab National Bank of over Rs 14,000 crore, is currently lodged in a jail in the UK. Sebi said the decision to attach the accounts was taken after Choksi, Gitanjali Gems and Sheth failed to pay fine imposed on them.
In February this year, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had imposed a fine of Rs 5 crore on them for violating varoious norms, including listing regulations. The pending dues — totalling little over Rs 5.27 crore — include the initial fine of Rs 5 crore and interest of over Rs 27 lakh, and a recovery cost of Rs 1,000.
In an attachment notice issued on Friday, Sebi asked banks and depositories not to allow any debit from the accounts of Choksi, Gitanjali Gems and Sheth till further orders. However, credits have been permitted. Further, the watchdog has directed the banks to attach all accounts, including lockers, held by these defaulters.
Sebi said there is sufficient reason to believe that the defaulters may dispose of the amounts in the bank accounts and securities in the demat accounts and "realisation of amount due under the certificate would in consequence be delayed or obstructed," and accordingly decided to attach their bank and demat accounts.