New Delhi: Photos of fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi have surfaced on social media, showing multiple bruises on his face and shoulders, even as a private jet landed in Dominica from Qatar.
The Antigua News Room, a news outlet in Antigua and Barbuda, posted several pictures of Choksi, with swollen eyes and bruises on his arm.
It said in a tweet, “The first pictures behind bars of Mehul Choksi were revealed.”
On Thursday night, Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Agarwal told IANS that Choksi was forcibly boarded from Antigua in a ship and taken to Dominica. He also claimed that there were marks of use of force on Choksi’s body.
“There is something wrong and I think there was a strategy to take him to another place so that there is a possibility of sending him back to India. So I don’t know which forces are working. Time will tell, ”he said.
However, Antigua’s Commissioner of Police Attlee Rodney dismissed the claims of Choksi’s lawyer, saying he had no information about the forcible removal.
On Saturday, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Brown also confirmed that a private jet had landed in Dominica with some documents related to his case.
He was answering a question about a private jet arriving in Dominica from Qatar during his radio program and he said, “Yes, I can confirm that there is a jet. My understanding is that Choksi is a fugitive The Indian government has sent some documents to the courts for confirmation. My understanding is that it is scheduled for a court hearing on Wednesday 2 June as the Dominica court has stayed her deportation. We are making every effort to bring him back to India and face the charges there. ”
A Dominican court has stayed Choksi’s deportation to India following a habeas corpus filed by attorneys.
The High Court of Dominica on Friday once again stayed the extradition of wanted fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi in India in the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
Justice ME Birney Stephenson, in his order, extended the moratorium on the removal of Choksi from Dominica “to the next hearing of the case until the next or further hearing of this application”.
The Dominican court further stated that Choksi should be “taken to Dominica China Friendship Hospital for medical care and administration of the COVID-19 trial”.
Choksi, wanted in India by the CBI and ED in a Rs 13,500-crore PNB loan fraud case, went missing from Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday in a massive search. He was caught in Dominica on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the United Progressive Party of Antigua noted recent statements made to Prime Minister Gaston Brown regarding Choksi, a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.
The UPP said, “In a shocking statement on the case, Prime Minister Brown indicated that Dominica’s government should send Choksi directly to India and not return it to Antigua and Barbuda as it would be protected by the constitution here.”
“This statement is both irresponsible and frightening. It is not the job of the Prime Minister to decide who is entitled to the protection of the Constitution. We are a country of laws: Every citizen of Antigua and Barbuda is entitled to due process and the rule of law should be respected by all.
“It was the Gaston Brown administration that granted Choksi citizenship. Under section 9 of the India Citizenship Act, once a citizen of India accepts citizenship of another country, his Indian citizenship is automatically revoked, “stating that, accordingly, it can be inconvenient and embarrassing for the government Hai, Choksi is one. Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda “, not India.
After UPP’s statement, Agarwal said that my client (Choksi) is a human being, there is no pawn that he can be placed in any square in the game of chess on anyone’s wish or anyone’s statement.
“My stand has been confirmed and I am filled with gratitude and appreciation by seeing the statement of the United Progressive Party Antigua, believing that Antigua must protect the rights of every citizen.”
“My client Choksi is a citizen of Antigua and is entitled to all constitutional protections under the Antiguan Constitution and all remedies available to him under the law, which he has successfully availed of,” Agarwal said.
On Wednesday, Brown said the fugitive diamond trader “needed to return to India” where he could face criminal charges leveled against him.
The Antigua News Room quoted Brown as telling reporters in Antigua and Barbuda: “We told them not to send him back to Antigua. He needs to return to India where he can face the criminal charges leveled against him.
Choksi has been residing in Antigua and Barbuda since 4 January 2018. The CBI and the ED, who have filed separate chargesheets in the case, are trying to extradite him.