Fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi on Friday again moved a special court in Mumbai seeking the cancellation of a non-bailable warrant against him, reported PTI.
Choksi, who is an accused in the Punjab National Bank scam along with his nephew Nirav Modi, moved the special Central Bureau of Investigation court on the ground that his life might be in danger if he were to return to India. The court had issued the warrant on May 22 after taking cognisance of a second chargesheet filed against the businessman.
In an application filed through his lawyer Sanjay Abbott, Choksi cited instances of debates on television news channels where callers allegedly threatened his life.
The businessman said he was shocked to watch a debate where one of the callers allegedly “suggested that a special team be formed to track Mehul Choksi down and shoot him to death once he was brought back to India”. The caller reportedly said such treatment would send out a strong message and prevent further cases of fraud, said Choski. He added that neither the news anchor nor any of the panelists had objected to the comment.
“From the above two calls made by the callers and the tacit approval given to the same by the news anchor and the panelists, it is clear that the averments made by the applicant [Choksi] in the application filed before this court regarding a threat to his life and the fear of mob lynching is vindicated,” said the application. Choksi attached a few audio and video CDs with the cited footage as evidence.
The special court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to file its response by October 3 – the next date of hearing.
In June, Choksi sought cancellation of the warrant on the ground of ill health. The businessman said he cannot travel to India to attend proceedings because of his medical condition and also because of apprehensions about his safety.
Choksi fled India in January, a few weeks before the Rs 13,500-crore scam at Punjab National Bank came to light. He was granted citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda in November 2017. Last month, he said he had “lawfully applied” to become a citizen of the island nation to expand his business interests in the Caribbean.