Jeweller Choksi could face life imprisonment

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been allowed to invoke Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code which would put the jewellery tycoon Mehul Choksi’s maximum sentence at life if found guilty of fraud.

A CBI decision could put Mehul Choksi’s maximum sentence at life if found guilty of fraud

On March 13, a special court ruling allowed the CBI to incorporate Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code into the second First Information Report (FIR) filed in connection to the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case where the jewellery tycoons Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are accused.  

Following the invocation of Section 409, Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems, and Gokulnath Shetty, a former PNB employee, could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty in court. The two could face a shorter prison sentence if found guilty but life will be the maximum sentence. Section 409 pertains to the criminal breach of trust by a public servant, banker, agent, or merchant.

Choksi, who is still out of the country and is refusing to return until his passport is reinstated after having been revoked, has also been accused of further fraud. Choksi’s group of companies’ total estimated fraud has now risen by an additional 942 crore rupees (approximately 141.5 million US dollars). This additional fraud was reported by the CBI on March 13. However, the PNB contested the CBI’s claims in the evening of March 13 and stated that the figure related to a “recall of credit limits” and not new fraud.

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