As the earlier media reports are concerned, the Dominica high court had adjourned the bail hearing of the fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi till June 11. The ‘ANI’ reported on Saturday, quoting the local media at Dominica that the businessman has been denied bail by the Dominica high court. He is also a “wanted” fugitive jeweller in India with Rs 13,500 crore fraud in Punjab National Bank.
Following the conclusion of submissions by both the sides, Judge Wynante Adrien-Roberts of Dominica high court denied bail to Mehul Choksi. As per Antigua Newsroom report, the court emphasized that he did not provide any well built surety before the court while he demanded for bail. It further stated that he is flight risk too. However, Choksi’s lawyers fought for bail on medical grounds and not a flight risk.
According to ANI, Adrien Robert commented that Mehul Choksi has no ties to Dominica and that it cannot impose any condition which will confirm that he wouldn’t abscond. The high court revealed that Choksi put forward that he will live with his brother in the hotel, which is not a permanent address. The court clarified that his trial has not commenced as yet. The court has given Choksi an interim relief from immediate repatriation to India.
The verdict is followed by Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit naming Choksi as an “Indian Citizen” and voiced that the court will determine about him. he also assured that the court will protect the rights of Choksi as he awaits trial. According to Loop Jamaica News, Dominican PM stated, “The matter with this Indian Citizen is before the courts, the court will decide what happens to this gentleman and we will allow the court process to go through.”
According to a source, the Indian government has filed two affidavits in the Dominica high court introducing Mehul Choksi’s Indian citizenship and the fraud he committed on Punjab National Bank.
On Thursday, a day before Mehul Choksi’s bail plea was to be heard in the court, Sharda Raut, the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) deputy inspector general in charge of the PNB fraud investigation and Azad Singh, the consular officer at the high commission of India to the commonwealth of Dominica, filed the affidavits.
The source further informed that detailed evidences has been produced in the affidavits against Mehul Choksi on the grounds of criminal conspiracy, cheating and money laundering along with the reasons why he is required to face investigations in India. The affidavits ensured that Choksi’s give up on Indian citizenship was never approved by the authorities and he was an Indian Citizen when he committed the crime. Choksi’s lawyers have urged to examine India’s affidavits.
According to Choksi’s claim, it is rumored that he was abducted on May 23 from Antigua by the Indian and Antiguan police officers along with Barbara Jabarica, earlier alleged as his girlfriend. He claimed that he was taken to Dominica in a vessel, in charges denied by Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
In the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Mehul Choksi’s habeas corpus plea has been adjourned sine die. The plea was regarded on the alleged torture and seeks repatriation back to Antigua, where he is a citizen.