Mehul Choksi may return to India in 3 months if in good health, says lawyer

Say that accused in Rs13,000 crore PNB fraud case is medically unfit to travel and present himself for investigation into allegations of money laundering connected with the case

mumbai Updated: Nov 18, 2018 01:02 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mehul Choksi,PNB fraud
The ED opposed the submissions of Mehul Choksi’s (in pic) laywers. ED said he had never shown willingness to cooperate with the investigation before and it is doing so now only to counter the agency’s plea.(HT FILE)

Jeweller Mehul Choksi “would like to come back to India” after three months if he is in good health, submitted his lawyer on Saturday before the special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). They made the submission during the hearing of the plea seeking to declare Choksi as a Fugitive Economic Offender.

The special court was hearing one of the 10 applications filed by Choksi’s lawyer Sanjay Abod and his legal team. They claimed Choksi, one of the prime accused in the Rs13,000 crore fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), is medically unfit to travel and present himself for investigation into allegations of money laundering connected with the case. These applications were moved on October 30 to counter the plea of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking to declare Choksi as a Fugitive Economic Offender.

The lawyers argued that Choksi is ready to cooperate with the investigation and he is not running away. It was submitted that he left India much before the registration of the case for treatment for his heart related ailments.

The lawyers gave three options to the investigating agency. They claimed officers can question Choksi on video conference or can travel to Antigua, where he is presently residing. They also claimed that if the two are not feasible, the agency can wait for three months, as Choksi would like to come back to India if he is fit to travel.

ED objected the claims of the defense. The counsel for ED, Hiten Venegaokar, submitted that Choksi left India only to not return. ED submitted that he had never shown willingness to cooperate with the investigation before and it is doing so now only to counter the agency’s plea.The court will continue to hear the case on Monday.

The court will continue to hear the arguments on other pleas on Monday.

First Published: Nov 18, 2018 01:02 IST