The custody of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi has been transferred from the police to a State prison by a magistrate in Dominica, reported PTI, quoting his lawyer in India. However, Choksi will continue to remain at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital as his medical condition is said to have “deteriorated”.
"“Yes, (Choksi’s) police custody has been changed to prison custody. But he shall remain in hospital as his medical condition has deteriorated.”" - Lawyer Vijay Aggarwal, according to PTI
Choksi is reportedly undergoing treatment for mental stress and elevated blood pressure.
Choksi is wanted in India in a case of loan fraud worth about Rs 13,500 crore in the state-run Punjab National Bank.
The CBI and the Ministry of External Affairs have sought to be impleaded in the habeas corpus matter, which seeks return of Choksi to Antigua and Barbuda, officials told PTI.
While CBI is expected to focus on establishing the criminal culpability of Choksi, fugitive status, pending warrants against him, Red Notice and charge sheets, the MEA is slated to argue that Choksi continues to be an Indian citizen.
If the Dominica High Court admits these affidavits, lawyer Harish Salve will be called in to plead India’s case in Dominica, reported PTI, citing the officials.
The CBI on Wednesday had filed a supplementary charge sheet against Choksi alleging that he had prior knowledge of the impending Enforcement Directorate (ED) enquiries against him in 2017, due to which he planned his escape from India and concealed evidence.
Meanwhile, Choksi’s lawyer has alleged:
“The aim was to remove him from Antigua to Dominica was to diminish his protection under the law. Choksi has ongoing proceedings in Antigua in regards to attempts by the Prime Minister to remove his citizenship, the only citizenship that he possesses, and to extradite him to India.”
(With inputs from PTI.)
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