INDIA TODAY: Mehul Choksi’s lawyer, advocate Vijay Agarwal, has said that the fugitive businessman can be legally deported to only Antigua and Barbuda after his arrest in Dominica on Wednesday.
Choksi, who has been on the run since January 2018, is wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in relation to the Punjab National Bank’s Rs 13,000-crore fraud case.
After reports emerged that the Indian government had already begun exploring options to bring Choksi back, counsel Agarwal said that he is not an Indian citizen anymore and, thus, “there is no question of him being sent to India”.
“As per Indian Citizenship Act Section 9, the moment Mehul Choksi acquired the citizenship of Antigua he ceased to be a citizen of India. Hence legally, as per Immigration and Passport Act Section 17 and 23, he can be deported only to Antigua,” Agarwal said to India Today.
“Moreover as there is an Antiguan High Court order restraining processing any request from India. So my understanding is that he has to be sent back to Antigua only and there is no question of him being sent to India,” he added.
Agarwal further said there should be no speculation before Choksi himself clarifies how he reached Dominica, from where he was arrested following an Interpol Notice by Antigua and Barbuda.
The advocate said, “Moreover there should be no speculations till one finds out from Mehul Choksi how he landed up in Dominica. My understanding is that his reaching Dominica is not voluntary. So I find something fishy that nobody seems to be at the moment looking into the fact that how exactly he reached Dominica.”
“It has to be done legally and it is not a game of chess and we are dealing with a human being and nor a pawn that shall be placed here or there and it cannot be on somebody’s desires and whims. Further, as per the universal declaration of human rights, there are international covenants on voluntary repatriation and a person can be deported to only the country of his citizenship.”
Antigua and Barbuda, though, has given its clean chit to India to have Choksi repatriated to India from Dominica. India believes he can be brought back because despite being a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, he was arrested from a different country. The Red Corner Notice by Interpol may also ease India’s effort.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused of having siphoned off Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank with fraudulent documents.
Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]