Court Orders Liquidation of Modi Firm

Nirav Modi
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The ruling to liquidate Modi’s scam-scarred company Firestar Diamond International Pvt. Ltd. (FDIPL) will affect the balance sheet of several banks including Punjab National Bank …. reports Quaid Najmi from Mumbai

Infographics: The Nirav Modi Case. (IANS Infographics) by .
Infographics: The Nirav Modi Case. (IANS Infographics)

Virtually spelling doom for various Indian public sector banks, the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai, has ordered the liquidation of absconding diamantaire Nirav Modis group company, Firestar Diamond International Pvt. Ltd. (FDIPL).

The ruling to liquidate Modi’s scam-scarred company FDIPL was delivered last week by a Mumbai NCLT bench comprising (Mrs) Suchitra Kanuparthi (Member-Judicial) and V. Nallasenapathy (Member-Technical).

Modi, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi and others are accused of masterminding one of the biggest banking frauds amounting to around Rs 14,000 crore, which was first admitted by Punjab National Bank (PNB) in February 2018, followed by other public sector banks.

This is said to be the first-ever liquidation order for any company embroiled in the fraud schemed by the Modi-Choksi before they fled the country, according to experts and officials.

Auction on March 5

The Saffronart auction house will auction Modi’s collection of prized assets on March 5. The ‘Spring Online Auction’ will be held as per schedules already announced, said a Saffronart spokesperson.

The shop that belonged to fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, in Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London and was closed down and seized in July 2018. by .
The shop that belonged to fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, in Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London and was closed down and seized in July 2018.

According to the programme, a collection of 112 lots of prized assets seized from Modi will be put up for online and live auction for three days starting March 5.

The auction sale of these assets is an attempt to recover a part of the dues Modi owes to various banks after his involvement in the estimated Rs 14,000-crore Punjab National Bank scam of 2018.

The works going under the hammer in two separate auctions would include major artworks by top contemporary and modern Indian artists, coveted luxury watches, handbags and cars.

The live auction comprises around 40 lots including 15 artworks worth in crores of rupees, and the rest will go for auction online next week.

Leading the pack in the online sale are works by M.F. Husain, Amrita Sher-Gil. They are: ‘Boys With Lemons’ a 1935 masterpiece by Sher-Gil, described as a “non-exportable national art treasure” and Husain’s 1972 masterpiece ‘Battle of Ganga and Jamuna Mahabharata 12’.

Both these paintings are estimated to fetch around Rs 12 crore with Sher-Gil’s work coming in for public sale for the first time.

There’s a 1972 V.S. Gaitonde’s untitled painting estimated to sell for about Rs Seven crore, a 1992 untitled creation of Lord Krishna by Manjit Bawa for about Rs three crore, an untitled work by Raja Ravi Varma commanding around Rs 3 crore, and a 1996 painting ‘Twenty-seven Ducks of Memory’ by Arpita Singh for around Rs 1.80 crore.

In the sub-crore rupees list are works by Ganesh Pyne, K.K. Hebbar, Vishwanath Nageshkar, Sudhanshu Choudhary and Shan Bhatnagar.

A Rolls-Royce Ghost with advanced features, technology and comforts will also be on auction (live) estimated at Rs 75-95 lakhs, besides a 2010 Porsche Panamera for between Rs 10-15 lakh (online).

A copy of the Take Notice whereby fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi's former shop in Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London was seized. by .
A copy of the Take Notice whereby fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s former shop in Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London was seized.

Over two dozen luxury items, including watches worth millions of rupees like a rare Jaeger-LeCoultre Men’s ‘Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2’ limited edition and a Patek Phillipe ‘Nautilus’ Gold and Diamond Wristwatch, will also be on auction, both expected to fetch around Rs 70 lakhs each.

The auctions will feature several top brands of handbags such as Birkin and Kelly from Hermes in the range of Rs 3-6 lakhs.

The other items will be expensive personal collectibles from Chanel, Piaget, Celine and Louis Vuitton and Cartier Asymmetric ‘Crash’ wristwatch.

Saffronart had conducted an auction of seized items on behalf of the IT Department in March 2019 and sold items worth Rs 54.84 crore.

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