Dominican Court Extends Mehul Choksi’s Extradition

A Dominican court has restrained authorities from deporting fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, until further hearing into the matter, to India after taking note of the submissions made in his habeas corpus petition. The matter will be heard next on June 2.

The Dominican court has extended till June 2 its order restraining the removal of Mehul Choksi from the country. The court has directed that the fugitive businessman be taken to the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital for medical attention and for a COVID test.

The court order said, “The applicant be allowed to meet with his legal counsel as is required. The injunction restraining the respondents whether by themselves, servants, agents and/or representatives from removing the applicant from The Commonwealth of Dominica until…is continued until the further hearing of this matter,” reported NDTV.

Choksi’s lawyers stated in their writ petition that he was denied legal rights and was not permitted to meet with his legal counsel initially. The fugitive businessman’s lawyer also claimed that ‘marks of torture’ were found on Choksi’s body.

Choksi, who is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda was captured in the Caribbean island nation, the Union Home Ministry had said on Thursday.

He was caught while allegedly trying to escape to Cuba from Antigua, where he had been living since leaving India in 2018. He reportedly left Antigua and took a boat to neighbouring Dominica. With an Interpol lookout circular against him, he was caught by the police from a beach in Dominica.

The diamond jeweler, along with his nephew Nirav Modi, is wanted in India for allegedly swindling Rs. 13,500 crore from the state-run Punjab National Bank using fake documents. Mr Modi, jailed in London, is contesting his extradition to India.

His lawyers say that Mr Choksi can only be sent back to Antigua and Barbuda from the Dominican Republic, and not India.

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