High Court (India)

June 17, 2019

PNB Scam Case: Fugitive Mehul Choksi Tells Bombay High Court That He Left India For Medical Check-Up, Treatment

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi who is a key accused in the Rs 13,400-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam as well as uncle of fellow absconder and accused Nirav Modi, in the same case, has told the Bombay High Court that he left India for medical check-up and treatment, and not to avoid prosecution.

Earlier, it has been reported that Choksi was granted citizenship of the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018.

Choksi filed the affidavit through his lawyer in connection with two petitions submitted by him in the high court, seeking dismissal of an application filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a special court, declaring him a fugitive economic offender.

It may be recalled that in early June, the Enforcement Directorate’s affidavit submitted before a division bench of the Bombay High Court headed by Justice I A Mahanty, had stated that Choksi’s submission was “misleading”.

The Enforcement Directorate affidavit had stated that Choksi’s submission about his medical conditions appear to be “facades being erected merely to mislead the court in an obvious attempt to delay the lawful proceedings”.

“The documentation submitted by the appellant are merely copies. In the absence of originals, both the genesis and veracity of the contents of the documents cannot relied upon by the court," the Enforcement Directorate affidavit had stated.

Seeking dismissal of medical records submitted by Choksi, the Enforcement Directorate had stated that Choksi’s intentions appeared to be suspicious as he “purposefully failed to submit the medical records February 17, 2018, onwards”.

The agency further submitted that Choksi underwent coronary angiography and coronary angioplasty in February, 2018 but was allowed to return to work within five days.

The Enforcement Directorate further contended that Choksi’s medical certificates dated October 26, 2018, and January 18, 2019, appear to be from a general practitioner instead of a cardiac expert.

“The medical certificates appear to have been specifically obtained to hoodwink the due process of law in India,” the Enforcement Directorate affidavit had stated.

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