Mehul Choksi moves Dominica HC to quash proceedings against him
(Sourced from PTI)
Alleging that his arrest in Dominica for illegal entry was "dictated" by representatives of the Indian government, absconding diamantaire Mehul Choksi has filed a case in the High Court of Roseau, Dominica, seeking to quash the proceedings against him, local media reported. The case was filed against the Immigration Minister of the Caribbean nation, its police chief, and the investigating officer of the case.
Choksi, who went missing from Antigua and Barbuda where he had been living since 2018 after his escape from India, was arrested on May 23 in neighboring Dominica for illegal entry. He was declared a prohibited immigrant by the Ministry of Immigration in Dominica.
The 62-year-old fugitive diamantaire is wanted by the Indian government in connection with the Rs. 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. He has approached the High Court in Dominica, alleging that the decision of Lincoln Corbette, Acting Chief of Police in Roseau, and investigating officer Sergeant Alleyne to charge him for illegal entry was "not a product of their independent judgment."
"They (Corbette and Alleyne) allowed themselves to be dictated by third parties, representatives of the Indian government," Choksi alleged. Seeking to quash the proceedings against him, Choksi pleaded before the High Court that the decision to charge him for illegal entry was violative of law and accordingly, null and void, Caribbean media outlet Nature Isle News reported.
Choksi said he is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, where he has challenged a move to extradite him. He claimed that he was kidnapped from Antigua and Barbuda and forcibly brought to Dominica by Indian men. Choksi claimed that he had narrated his ordeal to the Dominican Police but they did not launch any investigation into his allegations.
"The arrest and prosecution of the applicant is an abuse of the process of the court because...police who charged the applicant participated in and/or colluded with the applicant's kidnappers in and/or condoned the forced entry of the applicant into Dominica," Choksi told the court.
Choksi has sought a permanent order staying the criminal charge brought against him for illegal entry. He has also sought a court order stating that Minister of Immigration and National Security Rayburn Blackmore declaring him an illegal immigrant was a breach of the principles of natural justice, and is accordingly null and void, and of no effect, the website reported.
Choksi urged the High Court to quash the criminal charges against him under the Immigration and Passport Act. Notably, his lawyers Tuesday told the Magistrate Court, where his case of illegal entry is going on, that they have filed the plea in the High Court.