Mehul Choksi's repatriation stayed by Dominica Court after lawyers' appeal; Antigua says 'won't take him back'
Roseau (Dominica) | Jagran News Desk: In a setback for India, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in Dominica has put a stay over the repatriation of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who is wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case.
The court, which will now hear the matter on May 28 at 9 am local time, has stayed his repatriation to India after his lawyers filed a habeas corpus and alleged that the fugitive diamantaire was denied legal rights.
"This order is to be served immediately on the Defendants by email and fax and in person, and the Head of Immigration at the Douglas Charles Airport by email and fax," the court order read, as reported by news agency ANI.
Choksi's lawyers have alleged that the fugitive businessman was not given access to him. The lawyers have claimed that Choksi was allegedly picked up at Jolly Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda by men looking like Indian and Antiguan policemen and was put in a vessel.
His lawyers said there were marks on Choksi's body who had swollen eyes and feared for his life, adding that the businessman is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and not India hence he should be sent back.
"Lawyers for Choksi in Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica have been trying to have a legal interview with him as per his constitutional rights but they were denied access to him. After great effort they were able to speak to Choksi for two minutes during which he narrated a horrifying experience which is an eye-opener and vindicates my stand that he would not have gone from Antigua voluntarily," his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said, as reported by news agency PTI.
'Won't take him back'
Antigua and Barbuda, meanwhile, has once again reiterated that it won't take Choksi back while adding that it will be the sovereign decision of Dominica whether he will be repatriated back to India or not.
"Ultimately, it is the sovereign decision of the government of Dominica as to which country they repatriate Mehul Choksi, unless the Court states otherwise," Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne told ANI.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted in India for allegedly siphoning off Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run PNB using letters of undertaking.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma