PNB scam: Mehul Choksi writes back to CBI, reiterates he can't come to India
Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi, who is under the scanner of investigating agencies following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank on Tuesday reiterated that he cannot join the investigation as his passport remains suspended.
"Regional Passport Office hasn't communicated with me and my passport remains suspended. I have the deepest respect for your offices and assure you that I am not making any excuse, whatsoever to travel to India," Mehul Choksi wrote to CBI over latter's notice asking him to appear for investigation.
"I reiterate that I am abroad and have earlier also responded to your notices. Surprisingly, the issues raised remain unaddressed, making my fear of safety rise to extreme levels. Media continues to conduct a trial by itself and blow every issue out of proportion" he noted.
"I further inform that requiring me to join investigation, though leaving me helpless and information less, by various actions taken by multiple agencies is unfair. The manner in which the allegations have been exaggerated has left me completely defenseless, he said.
"I am extremely held up in my business abroad and am working hard to resolves the issues it is facing due to the unnecessary closure of business in India due to untenable allegations. Further I am unable to travel to India due to my persisting health condition", he added.
The CBI had last week sent a to Nirav Modi and his uncle Choksi to join investigations immediately. The agency had earlier sent summons on February 19, 23 and 28 asking them to appear on March 7.
Choksi and designer diamond jewellery businessman Nirav Modi and others are being investigated by the CBI and ED after the bank fraud recently came to light, following a complaint by the PNB that they had allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank.
The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. Both Choksi and Nirav Modi are said to have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them. They have, however, denied any wrongdoing.
The ED, a central probe agency under the union finance ministry, is investigating if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.