CBI-ED team in Dominica: Deportation subject to Choksi’s nationality argument
New Delhi, June 01: A multi agency team of the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate will be present at a court hearing in Dominica as they make efforts to bring back fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi.
The team reached the island on May 28 and would be present at the court hearing scheduled to take place tomorrow. Two each from the CBI and ED are in the island.
A lot would depend on the court hearing, sources tell OneIndia. The court had on an earlier date temporarily stayed the immediate repatriation of Choksi.
If the court orders his repatriation, then the team would bring Choksi back in a private plane and formally arrest him at the Delhi airport.
The arguments are crucial in the case as Choksi's lawyers have contended that he is no longer and Indian citizen. The ED on the other hand says that he is still an India citizen and will be tried as per the Indian laws.
His passport being issued by Antigua and Barbuda has been issued illegally, the ED could argue. He is accused of fraud and money laundering in India and there is sufficient evidence of the same. Moreover he has an Interpol Red Corner Notice against his name and hence he should be deported to India, the ED would argue according to people familiar with the developments.
Sources tell OneIndia that the ED would present detailed evidence before the court and also submit that Choksi's Gitanjali Gems and Nakshatra had defrauded the Punjab National Bank.
The cases against Choksi are being probed by the ED and Central Bureau of Investigation. The ED would further tell the court that while Choksi had surrendered his passport at Georgetown in 2018, the documents were not signed by the prescribed authority, While citing Rule 23 of the Indian Citizenship Act, the ED would argue that the prescribed authority in this case is the Ministry of Home Affairs.
A lot would depend on the judgment of the Dominica High Court as there is no extradition treaty between India and Dominica. Further Antigua from where Choksi had fled is unlikely to make a case for his deportation. The main contention of the ED would be that Choksi is an Indian national and his Indian citizenship has not been cancelled and hence it is a fit case for deportation.