Dominican court grants bail to Mehul Choksi on medical grounds
In a setback for Indian agencies, fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi was granted bail by a Dominican court on medical grounds, allowing him to travel to Antigua for treatment. Choksi's lawyers had pleaded before the court that he needed urgent treatment as he was suffering from a neurological disorder. India was looking to extradite Choksi, wanted in the Rs. 13,000 crore PNB loan fraud case.
After treatment, Choksi to return to Dominica
Choksi's bail plea was advanced from July 23 to July 12 on the grounds that he was suffering from a neurological disorder, for which the treatment he was seeking was not available in Dominica. He was asked to furnish a bond of 10,000 Eastern Caribbean dollars ($3,700 or Rs. 2.75 lakh). He has been asked to return to Dominica after treatment.
All attempts by various agencies didn't bear fruits: Choksi's lawyer
Confirming the development, Choksi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal told The Indian Express, "Dominica courts finally upheld the rule of law and rights of a human to be treated in the medical facilities of his choice. And all attempts by various agencies did not bear fruits." "There is a solace in saying that all clever foxes end up as fur coats," he said.
Proceedings against Choksi in 2 cases adjourned
The court ordered that the two cases concerning Choksi stand adjourned until he's certified as fit to travel. These two cases include that of his alleged illegal entry into Dominica, and his application for judicial review of a criminal case against him claiming that he was abducted from Antigua and Barbuda and brought to Dominica as part of a plan between the three countries.
India seeking Choksi's repatriation in PNB scam
Notably, India is seeking the repatriation of Choksi to face trial in the Rs. 13,000-crore PNB loan fraud case. However, the fugitive diamantaire has challenged this on the ground that he is no longer an Indian citizen as he had been granted Antiguan citizenship in 2017. Antiguan PM Gaston Browne had earlier said Choksi was a Dominican problem and does not want him back.
Choksi was 'kidnapped' by agencies to Dominica
While Choksi was detained in Dominica for illegal entry in May, his lawyers claim that he was "kidnapped" by Indian agencies from Antigua's Jolly Harbour area to deprive him of the protection he enjoys as an Antiguan citizen. His lawyer also claimed that during Choksi's "kidnapping," he was asked to sign a form expressing his consent to be deported to India.