Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi moves Bombay HC in ED's fugitive proceedings
Choksi is an accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case worth Rs 14,500 crore.
Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi on Friday moved the Bombay High Court seeking abeyance of the proceedings initiated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before a Mumbai court, which is seeking to declare him a fugitive economic offender. Choksi is an accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case worth Rs 14,500 crore.
He moved the High Court on Thursday through senior lawyer Vijay Aggarwal. Choksi was granted bail by Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in July 2021 to travel to Antigua and Barbuda to receive treatment for his neurological ailments.
According to a report by Bar and Bench, Choksi has claimed that he was granted medical bail by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court so that he could travel to Antigua and Barbuda for treatment and, hence, it could not be said he was refusing to come back to India.
Appearing for Choksi before the Bombay HC on Thursday, advocates Vijay Aggarwal with Ayush Jindal said according to Choksi’s present application, he was allowed to be treated in Antigua and Barbuda. He would be required to return to Dominica to face charges only after he was declared medically fit to do so.
The report in Bar and Bench quoted the lawyers as saying the facts showed that it could not be said Choksi was “refusing to return to India to face criminal prosecution", and that he could not be declared as “fugitive accused" as he had left the country much before any case was registered against him.
Mehul Choksi (62) was arrested in the Caribbean nation of Dominica earlier this year on charges of illegal entry. Wanted by Indian agencies in connection with the multi-crore PNB scam, Choksi had been living in Antigua since 2018. The ED, in 2019, had moved an application before the PMLA court seeking that Choksi be declared a FEO under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.