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Choksi moves Bombay HC

Mehul Choksi says he left India before FIRs were registered against him.  

Businessman Mehul Choksi has moved the Bombay High Court seeking that the proceedings initiated against him by the Enforcement Directorate, which has sought that he be declared a fugitive economic offender (FEO), be kept in abeyance.

Mr. Choksi, an accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud case worth ₹14,500 crore, moved the High Court on Thursday through senior lawyer Vijay Aggarwal.

The ED, in 2019, had moved an application before the PMLA court seeking that Mr. Choksi be declared an FEO under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

As per the Act, a person can be declared an FEO if a warrant has been issued against him for an offence involving ₹100 crore or more and if the person has left the country and refuses to return.

Mr. Choksi, in his application, said that he could not be declared an FEO, since he had not left India to avoid criminal prosecution, but had left well before any FIRs were registered against him. He said that in July 2021, he was granted bail by a court in Dominica and had been permitted to travel to Antigua and Barbuda for medical treatment.

However, Mr. Choksi was facing difficulties in travelling because of the ongoing proceedings before the special PMLA court in the city, the petition stated. Mr. Aggarwal told a Single Bench, presided over by Justice S.K. Shinde, that the Dominica court had passed the order permitting him to travel for medical treatment in the presence of Indian authorities.

Advocate Hiten Venegaokar, appearing for the ED, opposed Mr. Choksi’s application and sought time to file a detailed reply.

The High Court granted the central agency time to filed a reply and posted the matter for further hearing to December 21.


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 1:23:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/choksi-moves-bombay-hc/article37590265.ece

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