Fugitive Choksi fights extradition, pleads grave illness

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Stating his long history of heart disease and a blood clot in the brain, fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi on Friday moved an application in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court.

The move comes after it was reported that the extradition process has started in Antigua against the embattled Indian diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi.

The court has reportedly adjourned the matter for April 9.

Choksi’s counsel Vijay and Ashul Agarwal submitted his detailed medical history citing ailments that constrained him from travelling, hence his alleged inability to return to India.

His counsel placed 38 documents on record including latest prescriptions in which doctors have recommended his remaining under continuous medical supervision in Antigua and avoid travelling as this could cause a further deterioration of his already grave medical condition.

Mehul Choksi and nephew Nirav Modi are kingpins of the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud.

Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018.

When contacted by OBSERVER, his local lawyer, Dr. David Dorsett, did not wish to go on the record but said he had read the report in what he described as “the normally unreliable Indian media.”

Dorsett said he had not been officially notified of any extradition proceeding being initiated against Choksi.

If that were the case, he said, it would go against undertakings given by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to keep Choksi’s lawyers informed and up to date about any such developments.

Dorsett did however agree that Choksi was very sick and said this was one of the reasons he did not want to be speaking out publicly at this time so as to avoid any possible aggravation of his client’s condition.

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