On Wednesday, a Surat court has officially declared jeweller Nirav Modi an absconder in light of a case filed by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence case (DRI). The case accused him of dodging customs duty on import of diamonds. The Mumbai zonal unit of DRI filed the case in December 2014. The declaration came from Chief Judicial Magistrate B H Kapadia.
Modi's company, situated in Gurajat's SEZ, allegedly evaded tax. If Modi fails to present himself before the court, latest by November 15, DRI can take further action against him. All of the three companies, Firestar International Pvt. Limited, Firestar Diamond International Pvt Ltd and Radashir Jewellery Company, located in SEZ, are owned by him.
As per SEZ rules, the customs duty is exempted on the condition that upon the value addition, the said goods will be exported. However, the DRI alleged that the duty-free diamonds and pearls were sold at the local market while locally produced stones were exported.
In January this year, Modi fled from the country and after allegedly committing a 14,000 crore scam at Punjab National Bank. After the incident came to light, CBI lodged a case against him.