Refused treatment in Antigua, can’t file report: Mehul Choksi to Bombay HC


PTI, Aug 27, 2019, 10:04 AM IST

Mumbai: Diamantaire and PNB scam accused Mehul Choksi told the Bombay High Court on Monday that he cannot submit his medical reports to civic-run JJ hospital in Mumbai, as directed earlier, because his doctor in Antigua has refused to treat him “due to some reason”.

In a plea, Mehul Choksi had challenged the proceedings initiated against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before a lower court to declare him a fugitive economic offender in the scam.

In June this year, the high court directed Mehul Choksi to submit his latest medical reports along with a letter from his doctor to a team of doctors at the JJ hospital after he claimed in another petition that he was unable to travel back to India due to his persistent ill health.

The high court had said the JJ hospital doctors would go through Choksi’s medical papers and submit their report on whether he was medically fit to return.

When this petition came up for hearing on Monday before a division bench headed by Justice I A Mahanty, Mehul Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Agarwal told the high court that they could not submit the medical reports.

“The doctor who was treating Choksi has refused to treat him due to some reason which we are submitting in a sealed report,” his lawyer said.

At this, ED’s advocate Hiten Venegaonkar requested the high court to dismiss Mehul Choksi’s plea.

“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 ED’s advocate.

After hearing brief arguments, the high court said Choksi’s main ground for not returning to India to face prosecution is that he is medically unfit to travel.

“But when you (Choksi) are not giving documents to support this claim then you withdraw this petition,” said Justice Mahanty. Mehul Choksi’s lawyer agreed and withdrew the petition.

The ED, which moved a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Mumbai to get Mehul Choksi declared a fugitive economic offender, has accused the diamantaire of fleeing the country to avoid arrest.

Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, who is currently in a London jail, are wanted by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation for allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs. 13,400 crore.

In June, Mehul Choksi claimed in a petition filed in the high court that he had left India for medical treatment and not to avoid prosecution in the case. He had said he would return to India as soon as he is medically fit to travel.

The ED had then told the high court that it was ready to provide an air ambulance to bring Mehul Choksi back to India.

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