Dominica court stays Choksi’s immediate repatriation
New Delhi, May 28: A Dominica court has stayed the repatriation of fugitive businessman, Mehul Choksi after his legal team filed a habeas corpus petition, while highlighting that he was denied legal rights and was not allowed to meeting his lawyers, the local media has reported.
The matter will be heard again today. Earlier it was said that he would be repatriated to Antigua and not India. Choksi is currently in the custody of the Dominica Police. A habeas corpus plea mandates that a person is brought before a judge especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for the detention.
Choksi's legal team said that he is entitled to legal representation- be it in Antigua or Dominica.
Choksi's lawyer in Dominica Wayne Marshe told ANI, " I noticed that he was severely beaten, his eyes were swollen and had several burnt marks on his body. He reported to me that he was abducted at Jolly Harbour in Antigua and brought to Dominica by persons whom he believed to be Indian and Antiguan police on a vessel he described to be about 60-70 feet in length."
Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that he had asked Dominica to hand over Choksi directly to India. However there was a question on the legality of the same in the absence of an extradition pact between Dominica and India. Browne told ANI that it is ultimately the sovereign decision of the government of Dominica as to which country they repatriate Choksi, unless the court states otherwise.
Since there is no pact with Dominica and India about an extradition, the local authorities would decide on where he is repatriated to.