Mehul Choksi Latest News: Mehul Choksi, the fugitive Indian diamond businessman wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank loan fraud should be deported to India, the Dominican government told a country's court on Wednesday. The matter has been adjourned till Thursday, June 3.
According to reports, India authorities argued in the court that Choksi remains an Indian citizen and that his plea doesn't hold ground while pressing for his early deportation. The petition filed by the 62-year-old is not maintainable and should not be heard, the Dominican Public Prosecution Service told the high court during hearing, reports said.
Meanwhile, Choksi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal has said that the court should not entertain the plea to deport him. "Only question before the court is that whether he entered Dominica illegally or not, whether he's liable to be detained. whether Dominican police have the right to keep him in custody. How'll he be deported isn't a question before the court," news agency ANI quoted Aggarwal, as saying.
A team of multi-agency officials led by a CBI DIG has gone to Dominica to bring back absconding diamantaire to India if the courts in the Carribean island country allow his deportation to India.
Choksi, who mysteriously went missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen was detained in neighbouring Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girl friend.
His lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen looking like Antiguan and Indian and brought to Dominica on a boat.His pictures emerged from Dominca having red swollen eyes and body marks.
The Dominican government had issued a statement that it is ascertaining the status of his citizenship with Antigua and once confirmed, he would be deported there.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January, 2018 weeks before Rs 13,500 crore scam in Punjab National Bank rocked Indian banking industry.
Modi escaped to Europe and was finally held in London where he is contesting his extradition to India while Choksi took citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 where he had been staying since his escape from Delhi.
(With inputs from agencies)