The Bombay High Court has dismissed businessman Mehul Choksi’s plea seeking to get an anti-corruption court in the city to hear afresh his objection to the Enforcement Directorate’s proceedings against him under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank of at least Rs 13,000 crore.
The high court on Monday asked Choksi’s lawyer to withdraw the plea – filed on December 15 – after he failed to submit the businessman’s medical reports to JJ Hospital in the city. The court had ordered the businessman to submit the medical report and a letter from his doctor in June after he claimed he cannot travel to India because of persistent ill-health.
The lawyer said Choksi’s doctor in Antigua had refused to treat him “for some reason”, PTI reported. “The doctor who was treating Choksi has refused to treat him due to some reason which we are submitting in a sealed report,” the lawyer added.
“The prosecution’s plea seeking for Choksi to be declared as a fugitive economic offender is getting delayed because of these petitions filed in the high court,” said the Enforcement Directorate’s counsel.
Choksi, meanwhile, filed a new application in the anti-corruption court, urging it to dismiss the Enforcement Directorate’s plea to declare him a fugitive economic offender, Asian Age reported. His lawyers Vijay Agarwal and Ashul Agarwal claimed the investigating agency’s application had a technical defect.
The directorate responded to the application, saying: “The alleged fugitive offender herein is abusing the process of law, filing such frivolous applications only to mislead the court and waste precious judicial time.” It pleaded with the court to not allow him “to take advantage of his own wrongdoing and continue to misuse the process in this manner”.
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 the Caribbean nation to expand his business interests.
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