Stacks of papers await a hearing. (Photographer: Dennis Brack/Bloomberg News)

Income Tax Department Slaps Fresh Charges Against Nirav Modi Under New Anti-Black Money Law 

The Income Tax department has slapped fresh charges under the new anti-black money law against jeweller Nirav Modi, involved in the Rs 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank fraud, for allegedly holding an illegal asset abroad, officials said.

This is the second overseas asset that the taxman suspects has not been disclosed to it by the diamantaire, who is suspected to have left India in January.

The Income Tax department had last week slapped charges against Modi under Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 after it suspected that Modi allegedly held a bank account in Singapore, which hadn't been disclosed to the authorities.

The latest foreign asset is suspected to be a trust registered in Jersey, located near the coast of Normandy. The business trust is being probed for routing funds with alleged links to Modi.

The department is also probing two separate transfer of funds -- Rs 284 crore from Cyprus and Rs 271 crore from Singapore -- to a firm linked to the diamantaire in India.

The income tax department, on Feb. 16, had provisionally attached 29 properties and 105 bank accounts of the diamond merchant, his family and firms as part of its tax evasion probe.

The new anti-black money law deals with cases of overseas illegal assets, which till recently were probed under the Income Tax Act, 1961.

The new legislation has provisions for a steep 120 percent tax and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income, besides carrying a jail term of up to 10 years.