Illegal Entry Case: Choksi’s Bail Plea Rejected by Dominica Court

After the magistrate court’s bail plea rejection, Mehul Choksi’s lawyer said they will move the upper court.

2 min read
Mehul Choksi seen in Dominica

The bail application of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, in connection with his purported illegal entry into the country, was rejected by a magistrate court in Dominica, reports said on Thursday, 3 June.

This came after the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), hearing Choksi's plea against deportation to India, ordered that he be produced before the magistrate in the illegal entry case.

The matter in the higher court will be heard on Thursday.

After the magistrate court's rejection of the bail application, Choksi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said they will move the upper court.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the MEA said that India remains steadfast in its efforts that fugitives are brought back to India. “Choksi is currently in the custody of Dominica with some legal proceedings underway. We will continue to ensure he is brought to back India,” the MEA said.

Deportation to India

The fugitive businessman has been stationed in Dominica after being caught after his alleged attempt to abscond to Cuba from Antigua. He had been living in Antigua as a citizen since 2018.

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne had evinced that the Indian government is working towards the repatriation of Choksi to India, in order to ensure that he undergoes the legal proceedings for his alleged felony.

Choksi will not be accepted by the Antigua and Barbuda, Browne had remarked, adding that he should be immediately deported to India.

Browne added that if the felon is evicted to Antigua, he will continue to be protected by the legal and Constitutional benefits of his citizenship.

However, Choksi's deportation was deferred by the Antiguan judiciary, after his legal counsel asserted that the defendant cannot be sent back to India as he is no longer a citizen of the nation.


The Case Against Choksi

Choksi, who is wanted in India in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case, went missing on 23 May from Antigua, sparking a massive manhunt. He was captured in Dominica on 27 May.

Choksi is wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the PNB loan fraud case.

An eight-member team of the CBI, ED, MEA and CRPF has been camping in Dominica since Saturday. The team is there with the documents related to case of Choksi.

Earlier, the PM of Antigua and Barbuda and the prime Opposition party in the island nation, UPP, had locked horns over the issue of deporting the fugitive diamantaire to India.

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