Mumbai court refuses to cancel arrest warrant against Mehul Choksi
A Central Bureau of Investigation court in Mumbai refused to cancel the non-bailable arrest warrant issued against accused jewellery tycoon Mehul Choksi after Choksi has contested the warrant since June 2018.
Despite Choksi’s continued attempts to have the non-bailable arrest warrant made against him for his alleged part in the Punjab National Bank fraud revoked, a CBI court ruled to keep the warrant, the Press Trust of India reported. The court made its decision on Friday after hearing pleas from Choksi’s lawyers as Choksi remains abroad.
The court’s special judge V C Barde ruled in favour of the CBI despite Choksi’s lawyers’ assertions that Choksi could not travel to India to stand trial due to medical concerns. Indian authorities have previously questioned the validity of the medical reports Choksi has submitted to argue this. Choksi fled India before news of the scandal broke in the media and is believed to be residing in Antigua where he has taken citizenship.
The court had also recently rejected Choksi’s plea to cancel an arrest warrant against him made by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, also relating to the PNB fraud case. Choksi, promoter for jewellery brand Gitanjali Gems, is accused along with his nephew and fellow jeweller Nirav Modi of cheating the PNB out of around Rs 13,500 crore ($2 billion) in one of India’s highest value fraud cases ever.
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