A post is widely circulated on social media claiming that the London Court had stated Rahul Gandhi as one of the key conspirators who assured a bank guarantee for the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam accused Nirav Modi. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
The archived version of the post can be seen here.
Claim: The London Court confirmed Rahul Gandhi as one of the bank guarantors of PNB scam accused Nirav Modi.
Fact: On 25 February 2021, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in the UK passed a judgement allowing the extradition of PNB scam accused Nirav Modi to India. The Westminster Magistrates’ Court did not state Rahul Gandhi is one of the bank guarantors of Nirav Modi in their judgement. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When we searched to check whether the London Court had made any such observations about Rahul Gandhi’s involvement in the Punjab National Bank Scam case, we could not find any news report in this regard. If the UK Court had made any such statements, it would have been reported widely.
In March 2019, Nirav Modi was arrested in central London by UK authorities, reports of which can be seen here and here. On 25 February 2021, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in the UK passed a judgement allowing the extradition of PNB scam accused Nirav Modi to India. In the judgement, the Westminster Magistrates’ Court did not mention Rahul Gandhi’s name, linking him to the PNB scam case. Rahul Gandhi’s name was not mentioned in the list of conspirators who have supported Nirav Modi to defraud the Punjab National Bank. Recent news reports about Nirav Modi’s appeals against his extradition can be seen here and here.
In March 2019, while responding to a Rahul Gandhi’s tweet comparing the similarities between Nirav Modi and Narendra Modi, BJP alleged that the Allahabad Bank had approved a loan to Nirav Modi in 2013, a day after Rahul Gandhi had visited Nirav Modi’s bridal jewellery exhibition in Delhi. BJP alleged that the Allahabad Bank had approved the loan to Nirav Modi despite opposition from the Allahabad Bank’s Director.
On searching for further details regarding these allegations made by the BJP, we found an article published by the ‘First Post’ reporting the details of an interview with Dinesh Dubey, an ex-Director of the Allahabad Bank. While speaking to the ‘First Post’, Dinesh Dubey revealed the undisclosed details of a Bank Board meeting held in 2013 with an agenda to sanction the loan of 50 crores to the Gitanjali Gems owned by the maternal uncle of Nirav Modi. Dinesh Dubey said he had opposed the proposal and presented a dissent note arguing that Gitanjali Gems should first return the Rs 1,500 crores loan given to it earlier before sanctioning a fresh loan. Despite his opposition, Gitanjali Gems was reportedly granted a loan because of the pressure from higher government officials. Dinesh Dubey accused the Congress-led UPA government of turning a blind eye to the illegitimate loans sanctioned to Nirav Modi and his associates. But he did not mention Rahul Gandhi’s direct involvement in the Allahabad loan approval to Nirav Modi.
To sum it up, the UK Court did not mention Rahul Gandhi as one of the guarantors of the PNB scam accused Nirav Modi.