Diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, who is accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,000 crore along with his nephew Nirav Modi, told the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that he is unable to return to India due to health complications, the Hindustan Times reported.
The lawyer representing Choksi submitted the businessman’s detailed medical history as well as prescriptions from doctors who have recommended him to avoid travel.
In December, the businessman, who fled to Antigua after the scam came to light, had sought to quash the Enforcement Directorate’s proceedings against him initiated under the Fugitive Economic Offender Act, 2018.
In its application to the special Mumbai court set up under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the directorate had said Choksi left the country “under suspicious circumstance in the first week of January  and deliberately avoided joining investigation in spite of issuance of summons for his appearance”. In response, Choksi had told the special court of his alleged health complications, but his application was dismissed.
In January, Choksi surrendered his Indian citizenship and passport to authorities in Antigua and Barbuda. This came five months after he claimed to have “lawfully applied” to become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda to expand his business interests in the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, Nirav Modi is living at an apartment in London’s West End and has become involved in a diamond business in Soho locality, according to the British media.