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Centre tells apex court that Mallya, Nirav Modi and Choksi have given back Rs 18,000 cr to banks

Centre has defended reach of ED, PMLA in checking money crimes.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court heard on Wednesday that Rs 18,000 crore has already been returned to banks in cases connected to mega defaulters Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, told the apex court that total value of crimes being probed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and pending before the top court was Rs 67,000 crore.

The bench of Justices A. M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and C. T. Ravikumar, was hearing several petitions that have challenged the wide powers of the Enforcement Directorate regarding the search, seizure and attachment of properties under the law.

Mehta argued that the ED was investigating far more cases this year than in the last five, under this law.

Vijay Mallya, who is fighting to stop is extradition from UK to India, owes 17 Indian banks Rs 9,000 crore.

Diamond merchants Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of Rs 14,000 crore.

In March 2018, a special PMLA court had issued non-bailable warrants against the duo.

Nirav Modi is appealing his extradition from UK in the country’s High Court.

Choksi was apprehended in Dominica while trying to flee to Cuba, reports have said.

Also read: SC gives Mallya ‘last chance’ to defend himself in contempt conviction, to hear case on 24 Feb

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