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Demolition of Nirav Modi's illegal bungalow at Alibag has begun: Govt to HC

Nirav Modi, wanted in a Rs 14,000-crore scam at Punjab National Bank, has fled the country

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Nirav Modi

File photo of Nirav Modi

The process of demolition of fugitive diamond businessman Nirav Modi's illegal bungalow at Alibag has started, the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court Friday.

The high court had ordered action against unauthorised constructions in Alibag in Raigad district, a popular getaway near Mumbai.

Advocate P P Kakade, who appeared for the government, told a division bench headed by Chief Justice N H Patil that the district collector has initiated action.

"The process of demolition of Nirav Modi's bungalow has also begun. However, since it is a huge bungalow, structural engineer's opinion is being taken. The demolition will have to be done by way of controlled blasts," he said.

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At the last hearing, the (ED), which has charged Modi with money laundering, had moved the HC, saying it had attached the bungalow, so it should be heard in the matter.

ED's lawyer Neha Bhide told the court Friday that the central agency has handed over the property to the collector but it is yet to shift some movable articles lying inside.

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"We have removed some of the movable properties.

However, there are some more inside the bungalow for which the agency requires more time," Bhide said.

The court said it cannot interfere as the demolition process is being carried out following its orders.

"You (ED) can approach the collector and sort it out," Chief Justice Patil said.

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The bench was hearing a petition filed by activist Surendra Dhavale seeking demolition of unauthorised constructions along the coast in the Alibag area. Bungalows and other structures have mushroomed in the area in violation of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority rules and the state's land laws, the petition said.

The high court had last year ordered the collector to demolish unauthorised structures. Nirav Modi, wanted in a Rs 14,000-crore scam at Punjab Bank, has fled the country.

First Published: Fri, February 01 2019. 17:40 IST
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