The Centre on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against a Bombay High Court order asking diamond merchant Mehul Choksi to submit his medical reports to a hospital in Mumbai for cross-examination, to determine if he is in a position to travel, PTI reported. Choksi had cited poor health as a reason for not coming to India from Antigua to join the investigation against him.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter for urgent hearing before a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, ANI reported.
The Bombay High Court had on June 24 directed Choksi’s advocate to submit all of his client’s latest medical reports to the team of doctors at JJ Hospital’s cardiology department in Mumbai. On July 9, the hospital will submit the sealed report to the court with its opinion on whether the fugitive businessman is fit to travel or not, the bench said. The court said it will hear the matter on July 10.
The Enforcement Directorate had on June 22 rejected Choksi’s offer to join the inquiry into the Punjab National Bank scam. The agency had said it was willing to provide an air ambulance with medical experts to bring Choksi from Antigua and provide him all necessary treatment in India.
Choksi is accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,000 crore along with his nephew Nirav Modi. In January, he 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. Choksi had told the Bombay High Court that he left India for a medical check-up and not because of the scam.
On June 25, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that his government will revoke the citizenship of Choksi and extradite him to India after he has “exhausted all his legal options”.