I am not a fugitive, I am unable to return to India because my passport is suspended: Mehul Choksi - Newztezz Online- Latest News Today, Breaking News, Top News Headlines, Latest Sports News

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Friday, May 24, 2024

I am not a fugitive, I am unable to return to India because my passport is suspended: Mehul Choksi


A big statement has come from Mehul Choksi, accused of allegedly committing a fraud of Rs 13,400 crore with Punjab National Bank. He says that he has not fled the country, but is unable to return to India due to his passport being suspended. Read this full news...

A big statement by diamond trader Mehul Choksi, who has left the country, has come out on Friday. He says that he cannot be called a 'fugitive', he is willing to come to India, but is unable to return to India due to many reasons. One of the major reasons for this is the suspension of his passport. Mehul Choksi has said these things through his lawyer in a special court in Mumbai.

Mehul Choksi is a wanted economic offender in India. He is accused of committing a fraud of Rs 13,400 crore with Punjab National Bank (PNB) along with his nephew and Gitanjali founder Nirav Modi. Nirav Modi is also currently in London and is facing court proceedings there in the matter of extradition to India.

'My passport has been suspended, I am not a fugitive'

Mehul Choksi told a special court hearing money laundering cases that he has not left India to avoid criminal prosecution. Nor is he refusing to return to the country. He said that his passport has been suspended by Indian authorities, so he is unable to return to India. Therefore, he cannot be declared a 'fugitive economic offender'.

Mehul Choksi has filed a petition in the court seeking documents related to his passport suspension. He has also requested for directions to summon papers related to the ongoing Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation against him. Mehul Choksi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal has told the court that the current proceedings against his client are related to the ED's petition to declare him a fugitive economic offender (FEO). Therefore, there is a need to summon documents related to this for a fair decision in the case.

Who is called a 'fugitive economic offender'?

There is a clear law related to declaring someone a fugitive economic offender in the country. Its name is Fugitive Economic Offenders Act 2018. According to this, a person can be declared a fugitive economic offender against whom an arrest warrant has been issued by an Indian court for a scheduled crime. He has left India to avoid criminal prosecution or is not returning to the country to avoid facing criminal prosecution.

Mehul Choksi's lawyer says that the ED's application shows that neither of the two conditions applies to declare Choksi a fugitive economic offender. Mehul Choksi claimed that he had responded to the summons issued against him by the ED to appear before the investigating agency in February 2018. He had said that he was unable to return to India as his passport had been suspended by the Indian authorities.

He has also shared a notice issued by the passport office in his petition. The PMLA Special Court hearing the case on Mehul Choksi's petition has sought a reply from the ED. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till June 3. 

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