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As expected, CBI mentions NiMo LOUs raided from CAM in court, remain potentially critical to prosecution (and privileged)

The raid on a law firm may be over, but the story definitely is not
The raid on a law firm may be over, but the story definitely is not

In a Mumbai special court application to keep Nirav Modi company authorised signatories Kharat and Hemant Bhatt under extended judicial custody, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has relied on letters of undertaking (LOU), some of which it had obtained from the “Advocate’s firm of Nirav Modi Group” - a clear nod to Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) - reported the Economic Times.

As we had speculated on 7 March in our analysis of lawyer-client privilege, the documents the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) procured from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas about Nirav Modi were likely important ones for the prosecution.

If so, privilege could complicate the prosecution, if Nirav Modi were to claim that the Cyril Amarchand voluntarily released those documents to the CBI illegally, and that those documents could therefore not be used in court.

We reached out to CAM for comment earlier today but have received no response.

The court extended until 28 March the custody of the Bhatts, as well as the custody of former PNB deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty, who was allegedly fundamental to the scam.

Some of the LOUs, Shetty had reportedly told the CBI, were available from the bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai, though there were clearly others that were not.

According to the ET report, the allegedly fraudulent LOUs were not entered into PNB's internal systems and:

The CBI also told the court that it was attempting to recover all of the documents /bills used for opening of the fraudulent LoUs as Shetty returned earlier bills to the borrower (Modi) once payment pertaining to them was made to overseas borrowers against the LoUs.

It referred to having recovered some of the LoU documents from the “Advocate's firm of Nirav Modi Group.” Last month CBI said it had recovered some of the LoU documents from Mumbai offices of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

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