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What is India’s Case for Extraditing Mehul Choksi from Antigua?

Choksi was detained on 23 May in the island country of Dominica on charges of entering the country illegally.

Updated
Podcast
2 min read

After being in police custody in Dominica for 51 days, fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi landed in Antigua and Barbuda for treatment, a local news agency reported on Thursday, 15 July.

The 62-year-old was granted interim bail by Dominica High Court on medical grounds on Monday, 12 July, allowing him to travel to the Caribbean country.

To bring you up to speed, Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are the key accused in the Rs 13,400 crore Punjab National Bank scam of 2017. Both fled India in January 2018 before the CBI could file a case against them and have been absconding since.

While Choksi was wanted by Indian authorities and even had Interpol warrants against him, he was staying in the Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda, of which he gained citizenship in November 2017.

The goose chase began on 23 May, when it was reported that Choksi was detained by the police in the island country of Dominica, on charges of entering the country illegally on a boat.

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However, the twist in the story comes on the reasons given by Choksi’s lawyers and his wife for his presence in Dominica. Both had alleged that a woman named Barbara had invited Choksi to her house in Antigua, where he was ambushed by a team of abductors, who then forced him into a boat and carried him to Dominica.

Choksi’s lawyers have also filed a habeas corpus petition in the Dominican high court. A bail hearing for the same has been adjourned to 9 June.

So, what is India’s case for bringing him back and what are the legal hurdles for extraditing him?

To help navigate the extradition process and the case, in today’s episode, we spoke with Rupin Sharma, a 1992 batch IPS officer and author of the book Extradition.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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