India Sent Mehul Choksi Deportation Docs to Dominica: Antiguan PM
Choksi has been seeking sanctuary in Dominica since his capture during his attempt to flee to Cuba from Antigua.
In view of a habeas corpus petition, filed in a local court in Dominica on behalf of Mehul Choksi, India has sent the deportation forms for the fugitive businessmen, who is implicated in the Punjab National Bank loan fraud.
According to an NDTV report, officials from CBI and ED agencies, which are working on the investigation, indicated that the case files have been sent to Dominica.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda added that a private aircraft had arrived in the nation carrying the documentation, The Indian Express reported.
“My understanding is that the Indian government has sent some documentation from the courts in India to confirm that Mr Choksi is indeed a fugitive, and my understanding is that the documentation will be utilised in the court hearing next Wednesday, 9 June.”Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua, told Antigua News Room
‘Escape’ to Dominica
Mehul Choksi, who is wanted by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and his nephew Nirav Modi have been charged with fraud, in connection with the Rs 14,000-crore Punjab National Bank scam.
Choksi has been stationed in Dominica after being caught in his alleged attempt to abscond to Cuba from Antigua. He had been living in Antigua as a citizen since 2018.
The foreign ministry is collaborating with the Dominican and Antiguan administrations on the case.
The growing speculation around the facts surrounding Choksi’s illegal escape to Dominica acquired a new twist on Sunday, when Prime Minister Gaston Browne claimed the diamantaire may have taken his girlfriend on a "romantic trip" to Dominica where he was caught, news agency ANI reported.
“The information that we are getting is that Mehul Choksi might have taken his girlfriend to Dominica probably to have dinner or have a good time and got caught.”Gaston Browne to Antigua News Room
The jeweller's lawyer, however, has denied these allegations, insisting that the woman in question was a member of the squad employed to kidnap Choksi. Advocate Vijay Aggarwal suggested that the woman had developed friendly relations with Choksi's family and later moved into a house near his Antiguan residence.
The lawyer also alleged that the woman had invited Choksi to her house, where he was ambushed by the team of abductors, who forced him into a yacht and carried him to Dominica.
Aggarwal also suggested that since the woman appears to have absconded and is not traceable, it goes to show Choksi's assertion of his abduction as valid.
Deportation to India
The Prime Minister has also further 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, who had been traced in Dominica earlier this week, will not be accepted by the Antigua and Barbuda, Browne had remarked, adding that he should be immediately deported to India.
Dominica's accusation alleging that the fugitive entered the country illegally has made the case much more simple, an official told NDTV. The official further suggested that the allegations against Indian agencies over their supposed hand in Choksi's movement are groundless.
As per Choksi’s counsel in Dominica, the fugitive businessman had claimed that men, looking like Indian and Antiguan cops, forcibly picked him up at Jolly Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda and put him on a vessel.
Prime Minister Browne, on Sunday, 30 May, stated that he has requested the court to consider Dominica's direct deportation of Choksi to India to aid in his detention, in the interests of state co-operation.
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 has been deferred by the Antiguan judiciary, after his legal counsel asserted that the defendant cannot be sent back to India, him no longer being a citizen of the nation.
(With inputs from NDTV, ANI, The Indian Express)
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