New Delhi: It is a major breakthrough for Enforcement Directorate (ED) when the Antiguan government confirmed that it will revoke the passport of Nirav Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi’s. It will pave the way for a formal extradition of the fugitive who is a co-conspirator along with Nirav Modi in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam.
Reports say that the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, where Choksi is hiding now, hinted that the country is willing to revoke the fugitive’s passport once he exhausts all his legal options.
Mehul Choksi who fled India last year had obtained the citizenship of the West Indies island country of Antigua and Barbuda on 15 January, 2018.
Two weeks back Choksi had submitted a plea in Bombay High Court saying that he was ready to travel to India but was medically unfit for it and that he was ready to cooperate with the investigating agency through video conferencing. However, this request was turned down by the ED.
The court has ordered Choksi’s lawyers to submit his medical reports to team of doctors from Mumbai’s J. J. Hospital.
Meanwhile, ED has offered to send an air ambulance and a team of medical experts to bring back the fugitive and provide all necessary medical treatment in India.
In an affidavit, the ED said, “”The medical reasons and conditions appear to be facades being erected merely to mislead the court in an obvious attempt to delay the lawful proceedings. We are ready to provide an expert medical team along with an AIR ambulance to bring him from Antigua to India under medical supervision.”
“He (Mehul Choksi) never cooperated in the investigation. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him. A Red Notice was issued by the Interpol. He has refused to return, he is, therefore, a fugitive and an absconder.”
India has pushed for the extradition of Choksi with the Antiguan government and the country being a part of Commonwealth Nations has agreed to cooperate. The authorities maintain that when Mehul Choksi applied for citizenship of the island nation, the authorities were unaware of his criminal past.
The Indian authorities are believed to have informed about the criminal charges against Choksi and his role in the Punjab National Bank scam along with his nephew Nirav Modi.
Incidentally, Nirav Modi, is in a jail in London after his bails applications were rejected many times by a London court.