Mehul Choksi cannot be tried in absentia, CBI tells Dominican court in affidavit
The CBI in its affidavit has also reiterated that Choksi is an Indian citizen and is “spreading lies to mislead the court”.
June 14, 2021 / 11:15 AM IST
Mehul Choksi's lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen looking Antiguan and Indian and brought to Dominica on a boat
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has in an affidavit to a Dominica court said that according to India’s Criminal Procedure Code, Mehul Choksi cannot be tried in absentia, making a case for his extradition.
The affidavit was filed for the magistrate court hearing to be held around 6.30 pm IST on June 14, News18 reported.
The CBI also reiterated that Choksi was an Indian citizen and “spreading lies to mislead the court”, the report added. India also seeks to establish that Choksi was also wanted in a case of cheating Punjab National Bank (PNB) of more than Rs 13,500 crore along with nephew Nirav Modi, who is fighting his extradition from the UK.
The Dominican court will resume its hearing on Choksi’s deemed “illegal” entry into the Caribbean Island from Antigua and Barbuda. While the prosecution claims that Choksi was “sneaking in”, his lawyers have said he was “kidnapped into” the Dominican Republic.
The hearing on June 14 is important as it is likely to impact Choksi’s case in the Dominican High Court, where he has filed a Habeas Corpus plea that challenges unlawful detention.
On June 12, reports said the Centre was preparing to “join” the legal battle to “secure the extradition” and to this end the CBI and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has prepared a joint strategy to counter the fugitive diamantaire's arguments
The agency will highlight Choksi's role in the PNB scam, while the MEA will look to refute Choksi's claim of giving up his Indian citizenship. Both have filed separate applications, which, if accepted, will be argued by former Solicitor General of India, Harish Salve.
The high court had on June 12 denied bail to Choksi in the case of illegal entry into the island country after his mysterious disappearance from Antigua and Barbuda where he has lived since 2018.
The high court concluded that Choksi was a "flight risk", did not have any ties with Dominica and the court could not impose any condition that would stop him from leaving the country.