New Delhi: Bank fraud diamond trader Mehul Choksi may be extradited to India after he exhausts all legal options available with him.
Antigua PM Gaston Browne told the Antigua Observer, “I can assure you, after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited.”
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI for allegedly the Rs. 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank Scam. Nirav Modi is currently in London jail.
“His citizenship was processed; he got through but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India; so there is recourse. It’s not a case that we are trying to provide any safe harbour for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes,” Prime Minister Browne was quoted as saying by the Antigua Observer on Monday.
“We have to allow for due process. He has a matter before the court and as we said to the Indian Government, criminals have fundamental rights, too, and Choksi has a right to go to court and defend his position. But I can assure you, after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited,” he added.
“Choksi’s citizenship was processed, he got through. We do have recourse, the reality is that his citizenship will be revoked and he will be deported to India,” Prime Minister Brown said.
Indian Govt. Says
When asked about reports of Antigua revoking Mehul Choksi’s citizenship, India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said he does not have any information on this matter.
“I do not have information on this matter, I would not like to comment on it,” S Jaishankar said.
The multi-crore PNB scam came to light in early 2018. Both Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi had fled the country before that. The Enforcement Directorate recently told the Bombay High Court that it was ready to provide an air ambulance to bring Choksi back to India.
Choksi told the high court that he left India for medical treatment and not to avoid prosecution in the case and would return to India as soon as he is medically fit to travel.