Mehul Choksi again offers to be quizzed by ED in Antigua
Fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi on Friday moved a Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Mumbai, offering to be questioned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers in Antigua and Barbuda and requesting that he be allowed to appear before the court through video conferencing.
The development comes after Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said this week that Indian investigators were free to travel to the island nation to interrogate Choksi, adding that he would be extradited to India as soon as he exhausts his legal options there.
In a plea filed through his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal, Choksi said that “due to his medical conditions, it is medically impossible for him to travel because it will be unbearable, intolerable, unimaginable and difficult for him to travel and doctors have cautioned him from such travel”.
Aggarwal asked the court to direct the ED to conduct investigation/interrogation of Choksi in Antigua and Barbuda and allow him to appear before the court through video-conferencing. He also sought a cancellation of the non-bailable warrants of arrest issued against his client.
Choksi has made such requests in the past as well but the ED had categorically rejected them. The agency, in a counter-affidavit filed in June, had offered to arrange an air ambulance along with a team of experts to bring him safely to India.
The businessman, currently holding citizenship of Antigua, is accused of cheating Punjab National Bank along with his nephew Nirav Modi of ₹13,578 crore.