High Court (India)

June 25, 2019

PNB Loan Fraud Case: ED Urges Withdrawal Of Mehul Choksi’s Right To Legal Defense As He Faces Loss Of Antigua Citizenship

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Enforcement Directorate has urged the Bombay High Court to withdraw fugitive willful defaulter Mehul Choksi’s right to legal defense.

The government agency cited a Supreme Court observation namely the ‘Subhash Popatlal Dave versus the Union, 2012 case, wherein it had refused to hear those who had evaded the process of law, to back its request. Stating that Choksi had flagrantly abused Indian law, the agency urged the court to withdraw his right to legal defense.

In a related development, the Bombay High Court gave J J Hospital’s medical specialists two weeks to submit a report on whether he is fit to travel to Mumbai to stand trial. They are supposed to decide by July 9 if Choksi is fit to travel to India and submit their opinion to the court in a sealed envelope.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Choksi may be lose his citizenship of the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, whose authorities seem to have started taking steps to send him to face justice in India.

There are indications that that Antigua’s law enforcement agencies are only waiting for Choksi to exhaust his legal remedies in that nation before extraditing him to India, it has been reported.

It is also learnt that a court in Antigua has scheduled the case for July.

Earlier, Choksi who has been in Caribbean islands from early last year had told a local news channel that his doctors had advised him to avoid travel. He had also claimed that he did not flee India but left the country for a heart surgery.

After he made this claim, the Enforcement Directorate had told the court that it was ready to provide an air ambulance to bring Choksi to India from Antigua.

Choksi has also strongly contested a bid to restrain government agencies from legally declaring him a fugitive economic offender, under newly enacted laws.

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