MeraNews Network, Mumbai: Prime accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, diamond trader Nirav Modi, has filed an application before a special court opposing the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) complaint to have him declared a "fugitive economic offender. He filed 10 applications yesterday before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court of judge M S Azmi.

Nirav Modi had argued that as per the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA), a complaint may be filed by the director or any other officer, not below the rank of deputy director "authorized" by the director.

He contended that in his case, ED's plea was undersigned by a deputy director, but he has not submitted any authorization documents as required under the act.

The application further mentioned that the complaint was filed when the FEOA was in force, which was subsequently repealed as the FEOA was passed by Parliament on July 25, 2018. The application said, hence the proceedings in the present case were also under the new act.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are being investigated by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly cheating PNB of more than Rs 13,400 crore.

The scam, which reportedly began in 2011, was detected in January this year, after which PNB officials reported it to the probe agencies. Two criminal complaints were filed by the ED in this regard after taking cognizance of CBI First Information Reports (FIR).