Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed an affidavit in a Mumbai court on Saturday, demanding that fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi, one of the two main accused in the multi-crore scam in Punjab National Bank (PNB), be declared an absconder. In addition, the ED told the court that Choksi should be instructed to file an affidavit, in which he should mention the exact date of returning to India as soon as possible.
The ED submitted to the court that Choksi never helped in the investigation of the case. Non-bailable warrants were issued against him. Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice in his name, too. Despite this, he refused to return to India. He is, therefore, legally a fugitive.
The ED told the Mumbai court that the agency was ready to provide Air Ambulance with a medical expert to bring Choksi back to India from Antigua. He will receive proper treatment in India for any disease he is claiming he is suffering from.
Choksi’s lawyer had approached the court, pleading that the ED must withdraw the application filed in the court, in which the agency has demanded that he be declared a fugitive economic offender.
Prior to this, Choksi had filed an affidavit in the court where he said that he had left the country in January 2018 for medical examination and treatment abroad. In the affidavit, he said he had not left the country in suspicious circumstances. Mehul had filed this affidavit against the ED’s plea to declare him a fugitive, saying, he had gone abroad for treatment. “I have not fled the country,” he pleaded.
Choksi said in the affidavit that, at the moment he was living in Antigua for treatment, but he was ready to fully cooperate in the investigation. He said that, if it seemed appropriate to the court, it could direct the inquiry officer to send him to Antigua. At the same time, Choksi had also said that he wanted to join the investigation directly, but he could not return to India due to the ongoing ‘treatment’.